Betty by Tiffany McDaniel – Our Review
Betty is one of those rare novels that will give you pause; it is both beautifully uplifting and utterly devastating. It will certainly resonate with you for the longest time afterwards.
Betty follows the early life of young Betty Carpenter and her family as she grows up in 1960’s Breathed, Ohio, a sleepy town nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.
Her father, Landon, is a tall dark Cherokee Indian and her mother, Alka is white. Of all the six children Betty most closely resembles her father who is a herbalist, healer and wiseman.
The family is dirt poor, but Landon provides them with a rich knowledge and love of the natural world, drawing from his vast well of Cherokee myths and legend.
While Landon is all encompassing light and love, her mother Alka is darkness, reality and heartache. From her she will develop an insight into the depths of pain humans can inflict upon one another – from one generation to the next.
Betty is based on the author’s mother Betty and her family, which makes the story even more compelling. It deals compassionately with many of the big taboo topics surrounding families – racial vilification, abuse, rape and suicide.
It sounds bleak, yet the novel is stunning beautiful and the writing effortlessly lyrical. I can’t recommend this book highly enough, a stand-out novel for me for 2020 – Betty is exquisite.
Review by Nicole @ Great Escape Books