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Beschreibung des Verlags
'So engrossing! Betty is a page-turning Appalachian coming-of-age story steeped in Cherokee history, told in undulating prose that settles right into you'
Naoise Dolan, Sunday Times bestselling author of Exciting Times
'I felt consumed by this book. I loved it, you will love it'
Daisy Johnson, Booker Prize shortlisted author of Everthing Under
'I loved Betty: I fell for its strong characters and was moved by the story it portrayed'
Fiona Mozley, Booker Prize shortlisted author of Elmet
'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.
'Not a story you will soon forget'
Karen Joy Fowler, Booker Prize shortlisted author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
'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'
Eowyn Ivey, author of The Snow Child
McDaniel bases her raw if overwrought bildungsroman (after The Summer That Melted Everything) on the life of her mother. Born in 1954, narrator Betty is one of eight siblings whose cherished father, Landon Carpenter, a Cherokee, tells wondrous tales, and whose mother, Alka Lark, shares cruel truths ("God hates us," she says, referring to women). Betty recounts poverty, puberty, and the tragic loss of one sibling after the other. Betty looks like Landon and is abused at school by the prejudiced children and teachers of Breathed, Ohio. The episodic narrative revolves around Betty's struggles over whether to divulge a family secret involving incest and rape at the story's rotten core. Along the way, Landon, a finely rendered character, dispenses most of the wisdom ("Some people are as beautiful and soft as peonies, others as hard as a mountain"), but McDaniel gives Betty exceedingly precocious insights (at nine: "William Shakespeare wrote my father a Romeo heart and a Hamlet mind at the same time Henry David Thoreau composed him to have sympathy toward nature and a longing for paradise to be regained"). Still, she brilliantly describes Betty's self-image based on her father's stories of their ancestors. McDaniel is an ambitious and sincere writer, and occasionally her work transcends.