Book Review

BETTY by Tiffany McDaniel

I received a gifted copy of BETTY from the author Tiffany McDaniel!

Rating: 4.5 / 5

BETTY is the story of the title character. Betty Carpenter is one of eight children born to a Cherokee father and a white mother. They settle in a rural town in Appalachian Ohio, living a life of poverty. Betty’s world is haunted by violence both from without and from within her own family. She shares a close relationship with her father who keeps his Cherokee traditions alive and encourages Betty in the strength of being a woman. This is a coming of age novel following Betty as she grows up into a strong young woman with a brilliant imagination.

I had seen some glowing reviews of BETTY so I was thrilled when the author reached out to offer me a copy for review. I was immediately hooked into Betty’s life with all of the ups and downs she faced. I really loved the bond between Betty and her father. He was a great source of encouragement for her as she began to take on the tradition of storytelling, telling fantastical tales verbally and beginning to write her stories. This proved to be a good offset to some of the brutal realities of her life.

This is not always an easy read as it tackles some serious subjects. Trigger warnings for physical and sexual abuse, rape, animal abuse, racism, mental health and suicide. I felt that these topics were well handled by the author, but it is something to be aware of going in. Even with this in her background, Betty’s story is one of hope and resilience, breaking out of the cycles of abuse that have haunted her family. There is a lot of beauty in the writing as well!

Knowing that the author used her own mother as the inspiration for Betty’s story really explains the heart that you can feel in this book. It is one that I would highly recommend!

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