A short extract. For the stepmother chapter you'll have to get the book!
Evil, cruel, contrived, nasty, homophobic, slimy, pathetic, puerile, poisonous, loathsome, psychotic, despotic, anti-Semitic, bigoted, adulterous and loud-mouthed. These are just some of the terms—and I’m sure there are more—that applied to George Spurr, my adoptive father. Add to this roster child-beater, rapist and crook, and this just about sums him up.
It used to make me angry and confused, as a child, watching fathers hugging their sons, or seeing sons weeping for the fathers they had loved and lost. Mine never once hugged me, or showed the slightest affection towards anyone when he was a part of my life, or even suggested that he cared about anyone but himself. When at family weddings I watched fathers proudly lead their daughters down the aisle to give them away at their wedding, my heartfelt desire was to see mine laid out in a wooden box.
While at Milletts, I dated Paul, one of the window-dressers, and as a matter of course invited him to home to meet Mother. It was a Saturday. O.B. had gone off somewhere with his latest floosie or on a bender with one of the few friends he had—you always knew when he came home because you could hear him retching in the bathroom, or outside in the yard. O.B. had the habit of drinking a lot, but not always keeping it down. When Paul missed the last bus home, rather than spend money on a taxi, Mother insisted that he stay the night. The next morning, at breakfast, he seemed a little upset and withdrawn, and Mother asked him what was wrong. It turned out that Saturday was the night he met up with his father and they had a night out.
“We’ve gone out every Saturday, religiously, for the past five years since I turned eighteen,” Paul explained. “Last night’s the first time I’ve missed. I love my dad. I know Nature’s going to take its course one day, but I honestly don’t know how I’d ever cope if anything happened to him. You must feel the same…”
Half an hour later, O.B. swaggered into the room, grinning and whistling “Please Release Me,” and tossed the car-keys on to the table.
“I wish somebody would release me,” he growled. “Is there anything for breakfast, woman—or do I have to get it myself?”
He stormed out of the room and headed upstairs, and Mother took the knife from the drawer to cut the rind off the bacon, and tested the blade on the edge of her thumb.
“One of these days,” she muttered.
The day I learned that O.B. had died was one of the happiest of my life. He was exactly what it said on the tin. An old bastard.