'NOT A STORY YOU WILL SOON FORGET' Karen Joy Fowler, author of Man Booker Prize finalist We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
'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.
TIFFANY MCDANIEL is an Ohio native whose writing is inspired by the rolling hills and buckeye woods of the land she knows. A poet and a visual artist, her debut novel, THE SUMMER THAT MELTED EVERYTHING, won the Guardian's Not the Booker award.
Tiffany McDaniel has given us a vivid and haunting portrait of the writer as a young girl. Betty Carpenter survives the brutality of her childhood through her father's stories and his steadfast belief in her own... Not a story you will soon forget. Tiffany McDaniel follows in the tradition of The Color Purple with her unflinching portrayal of the generational ripples of racism, poverty, and abuse. Shot through with moonshine, Bible verses, and folklore, Betty is about the cruelty we inflict on one another, the beauty we still manage to find, and the stories we tell in order to survive. This novel broke my brain. The lush, hypnotic prose, the voice, so authentic and compelling, as Betty Carpenter holds your hand and leads you through a world filled with familial tragedy. Each more haunting than the last, until you're left holding your breath, with a tourniquet on your heart.