DNA: Do Not Assume will appeal to many different interests: DNA researchers, romantics, true story and cozy mystery enthusiasts, plus readers of God centered accounts.
Drusilla intended her lie to die with her, but that changed when the author's sister called with the results of their DNA search. They did not share the same father. This knowledge stirred-up decades of rumors along with the once buried question, "Who is he?" Now, in the 21st century, seventeen years after her mother's death, her author-daughter is left to ask and answer the nagging question from long ago.
Part One—The author uses commonsense and family recollections to create a biography of her mother's early life that reads like a Debbie Macomber novel except, the facts are real! Fifteen-year-old Drusilla meets a good-looking sailor. They quickly marry and have two children. Their happy life seems to end with Bill's discharge from the Navy in 1946. Bill deposits his brood with his parents in Ohio and leaves for a three-month electrician course in Chicago.
Fun loving Drusilla is a fish out of water in this small town. She is expected to provide childcare/housekeeping duties for the eleven residents. In exchange, she and her children are given free room and board until they can move into a home of their own. Probable events place the author's parents together as strangers, watching a dance competition. Drusilla succumbs to a romantic fling. This decision creates a story filled with tension, violence, and wrecked lives.
Drusilla plots how she'll convince her husband, Bill, that the baby growing in her tummy is his. Bill has good reason to doubt and grows desperate to know the truth but Drusilla isn't talking. Face-offs go beyond name calling. A rifle is grabbed, fists fly, and bones break in an effort to beat the truth out of a pregnant Drusilla. Drusilla calls her lover and reveals their baby's first two names, "Tarry Lee," but not its gender. The significance of this omission becomes clear as the story progresses.
Bill wins custody of their first two children in the divorce. Heartsick and destitute, Drusilla tries to commit suicide but lands in a mental institution; the newborn goes to foster care. Throughout this part, the author refers to her birth father as "he," taking the reader with her on the journey to find him. Part Two is autobiographical and tells the story of the author's life with her mother, Drusilla.
The story continues when a revived Drusilla has gained back mental and physical strength, goes to work, finds a home, and regains custody of her baby. Drusilla sets new goals to remake herself. Soon a tall, blonde man enters their lives and later, Tarry is adopted and renamed. Mission accomplished, Drusilla files for divorce. At this point, daddy number four, enters the picture. With him, Drusilla's blue-collar existence takes an upward turn.
Several chapters deal with Drusilla's new popularity, along with the author's coming of age. The chapter, "My Prince Arrived in a 1969 Pontiac Grand Prix!" introduces the author as a young twenty-year-old longing for love and searching for God. When she finds her love, her life, like her mother's, evolves into a soap-box opera.
The author marries, finds God (again), has children, raises them, lives her life, buries her mother, and retires thinking she knows all there is to know about her mother's life. Until that fateful phone call when Drusilla's well-crafted house of cards tumbled down.
Part Three— The last and final part is a memoir, written alternately by two first cousins found through a DNA website. Piece-by-piece a mother's web of lies; a daughter's quest for truth; found family; and, his name is revealed; fit together by God, the mystery is solved and the puzzle completed.