Tragedy, neglect, addiction, manipulation – all these words can describe “The Con Man’s Daughter” by Candice Curry. Yet, this memoir is so much more than this. It is a story of triumph over tragedy, love over pain, and forgiveness in all its forms. This book brought out a wide range of emotions and thoughts for all of us in the book club, and we hope that you all shared this experience! As Jen so eloquently summarized, “Beautifully written and incredibly inspiring. I cried and smiled all the way through. Now I’d like to have a cup of coffee, a glass of wine or do a Bible study with Candice Curry – maybe all three!”
Candice Curry is from San Antonio, Texas. She is a wife and mother to six children, ranging in age from 18 to 4 years. Her faith is central to her life, as you will discover in her memoir, and she credits this to helping overcome many struggles and in guiding she and her family’s lives. Our own readers really identified with this aspect of her story. Michelle said, “Her life experiences were incredible and how her faith transformed her and her experiences was a beautiful testimony to read.” Candice is not just a published author; she is a contributor to the Alamo City Moms Blog and author of her personal blog, Women With Worth.
Do you remember a blog post called “An Open Letter to my Daughter’s Stepmom” that went viral? That was written by her! That post landed her on the “Today” show and connected her with an agent, and thus her memoir was born.
I was fortunate enough to interview Candice and learn more about her story. She never wanted to be a published writer and actually failed high school English! She started writing as a form of therapy and eventually started an anonymous Facebook page to share her writing. As I mentioned above, everything steamrolled from there. She did point out that becoming a published author was not easy at any point. Candice suggests for aspiring writers to grow a thick skin, as her book proposal was rejected multiple times. She said it takes guts, research, persistence, and faith to accomplish such a feat – so go for it!
I was very intrigued on the positive and the negative effects of writing this book. It is challenging to write about your life, and Candice admitted that not everyone in her family was thrilled about the publication. She pointed out that there is always a family member or two who views people and the past differently. Her aunt, “desperately wants to believe that my dad was good and that he didn’t do those things to me … she always supported my dad and that’s OK. That’s what she felt she needed to do, and I don’t hold any resentment for that.”
Regardless, this book was not written for family or their feelings; it was written by and for Candice.
Beyond this, she can only cite positives that have come from the publication of “The Con Man’s Daughter.” Writing was both therapeutic and healing for Candice, even when it was difficult to actually write story. She explained how she accidentally deleted the entire chapter about the sexual abuse from her father’s friend. While she initially panicked about this error, she took this as a sign.
“I think it was God’s way of having me go back and rewrite it so that I could truly heal from it. I think I needed to slow down and understand what I had been through, forgive myself and forgive him,” she said. She also noted that this book opened her eyes; everyone has their own baggage, their own past, and their own wounds. It takes a courageous person to expose herself as Candice did in her memoir, but there is not an ounce of arrogance to her. She hopes that if anything, “The Con Man’s Daughter” will help others to look past their shame and to heal.
Normally I summarize the main points of the chosen book for this post, but I really do not want to give too much away. What I will tell you and the agreement among our book club is that this memoir is worth reading, no matter who you are or what you have experienced in your life.
Her story is heartbreaking but triumphant, and we are so happy to share it with you. Thank you again to Candice Curry for speaking to me and allowing me to write even more about her life!
Join us in March, we are reading “A Stranger in the House” by Shari Lapena.