Author(s): Tiffany McDaniel

Staff Picks- Read our reviews below

A stunning, lyrical novel set in the rolling foothills of the Appalachians in which a young girl discovers stark truths that will haunt her for the rest of her life. A girl comes of age against the knife.' So begins the story of Betty Carpenter. Born in a bathtub in 1954 to a Cherokee father and white mother, Betty is the sixth of eight siblings. The world they inhabit is one of poverty and violence - both from outside the family and also, devastatingly, from within. When her family's darkest secrets are brought to light, Betty has no choice but to reckon with the brutal history hiding in the hills, as well as the heart-wrenching cruelties and incredible characters she encounters in her rural town of Breathed, Ohio. Despite the hardship she faces, Betty is resilient. Her curiosity about the natural world, her fierce love for her sisters and her father's brilliant stories are kindling for the fire of her own imagination, and in the face of all she bears witness to, Betty discovers an escape: she begins to write. A heartbreaking yet magical story, BETTY is a punch-in-the-gut of a novel - full of the crushing cruelty of human nature and the redemptive power of words.

The novel is inspired by the life of the author's mother Betty who was half Cherokee, born into a hostile and racist environment in Ohio in 1954. In the novel, Betty is the sixth of eight siblings, many of whom die over the years and she is such a wild, fierce little spirit. Indeed, she has to be because their life is one of hardship, abuse, loss and suffering. She is brought up by an abusive mother and a loving father - a Cherokee man who has an enchanting story for absolutely everything. It was his character that moved me the most in the reading of their family saga. His gentle nature, stories, imagination and love for his family and the land made a real imprint. The story combines violence, family dysfunction, tragedy and despair with childhood and adolescent dreams, nostalgia, magic and the power of stories. There are a few pages I wish I could un-read as they were so horrific, but overall this book was a special one. The style of the writing reminded me a bit of Where the Crawdads Sing, but with a lot more grit and pain. Jemma


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Product Information




General Fields

  • : 9781474617536
  • : Orion Publishing Group, Limited
  • : Weidenfeld & Nichoslon (U.K.)
  • : 0.3
  • : May 2020
  • : 4 Centimeters X 15.5 Centimeters X 23.3 Centimeters
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Tiffany McDaniel
  • : Paperback
  • : 813.6
  • : near fine
  • : 416