Author: Tiffany McDaniel
This is my 74th book of the year
This is the story of Betty Carpenter and her family. The 6th of 8 children born to a mother who was white and a father who was Cherokee, her story unfolds in the 1950s-1970s in this book. Early in her life, she and her family settle in the town of Breathed, Ohio. Their family is poor and isolated due to their Cherokee background, but despite that, Betty grows up feeling the love from mostly her father. A man full of stories and love for his children, Betty learns from him to become resilient. As one tragedy after another strikes her family Betty is left with her stories and her love of writing to help her escape.
I have mixed feelings about this book. First - you need to know that this book has a lot of very hard subjects to read about. There is rape and abuse, and death among the love and stories of Betty's upbringing. I THINK I understand that this is based on the true story of a real person. And if that is the case, I really have a hard time with it. I am sure families like this exist and they are horrible to their core on many levels with deep secrets that no one would ever guess. I am sure of it. But it bordered on the unbelievable. NOW - if it is purely fiction based on the backgrounds of Cherokee families or hardships of poor families at this point in history - then it becomes a little different for me. Don't ask me why - I cannot put my finger on it. Beautifully written on many levels? YES. Cringe worthy parts? YES. Worth a read.....MAYBE? Close to a yes.
The dad in the story is amazing. He weaves stories and tales from his Cherokee anestry that were the best parts of the book. But many of the characters - the mom, the eldest brother, two of the sisters......cringe.
Ugh. This one was harder than I thought. I got those book through my Book of the Month and I am glad that I chose it. However - as I read the very very few reviews it has on facebook, I see I might be the only one that is having trouble putting into words exactly how to review this one.
Stars: 3 1/2