Betty: A Novel by Tiffany McDaniel

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Let’s talk about Betty: A Novel by Tiffany McDaniel about a young girl and the family truths that will haunt her for the rest of her life.

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Betty: A Novel
Author: Tiffany McDaniel
Genre: Historical Fiction, Coming of Age
Pages: 476
Released: 2020

Book Summary:

“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. Their world is poverty and violence–both from outside the family and, devastatingly, from within. The lush landscape, rich with birdsong, wild fruit, and blazing stars, becomes a kind of refuge for Betty. Still, when her family’s darkest secrets are brought to light, she has no choice but to reckon with the brutal history hiding in the hills and the heart-wrenching cruelties and incredible characters she encounters in her rural town of Breathed, Ohio.

But 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 the fire of her imagination. In the face of all she bears witness to, Betty discovers an escape: she begins to write. She recounts the horrors of her family’s past and present with pen and paper and buries them deep in the dirt–moments that have stung her so deeply that she could not tell them until now. Inspired by her mother’s life, Tiffany McDaniel sets out to free the past by telling this heartbreaking yet magical story–a remarkable novel that establishes her as one of the freshest and most important voices in American fiction.

Lucia’s Review:

“Betty” is a coming-of-age story that is beautifully written and tremendously tragic. The story is told from the perspective of Betty Carpenter, Tiffany McDaniel’s mother. We as readers get to experience everything through the eyes of a child- which I found to be incredibly interesting. ”Betty” follows the Carpenter family as they navigate the hardships of being a Cherokee family in Ohio during the 1960s. 

It can be uncomfortable and hard to read at times, but I can say with 100% seriousness that it’s worth reading through. 

CW: Racism, rape, suicide, animal abuse, incest, abuse

I give Betty: A Novel by Tiffany McDaniel 5 out of 5 stars. 


77% Google users liked this book
4.4/5 Goodreads
4.3/5 Barnes and Noble

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