Challenging perceptions of discrimination and prejudice, this emotionally resonant drama for readers of Lisa Wingate and Jodi Picoult explores three different women navigating challenges in a changing school district—and in their lives.
WINNER OF THE CHRISTY AWARD®
When an impoverished school district loses its accreditation and the affluent community of Crystal Ridge has no choice but to open their school doors, the lives of three very different women converge: Camille Gray--the wife of an executive, mother of three, long-standing PTA chairwoman and champion fundraiser--faced with a shocking discovery that threatens to tear her picture-perfect world apart at the seams. Jen Covington, the career nurse whose long, painful journey to motherhood finally resulted in adoption but she is struggling with a happily-ever-after so much harder than she anticipated. Twenty-two-year-old Anaya Jones--the first woman in her family to graduate college and a brand new teacher at Crystal Ridge's top elementary school, unprepared for the powder-keg situation she's stepped into. Tensions rise within and without, culminating in an unforeseen event that impacts them all. This story explores the implicit biases impacting American society, and asks the ultimate question: What does it mean to be human? Why are we so quick to put labels on each other and categorize people as "this" or "that", when such complexity exists in each person?
Ganshert (Life After) probes questions of class, race, and faith in this riveting novel of a forced school merger. The small, affluent Missouri school district of Crystal Ridge has been ordered by the state to accept students from a poor neighboring district that lost its accreditation. The merging of these racially, economically, and socially different schools brings together three women representative of the communities: Camille, PTA member and involved mother, who organizes the annual 5K run; struggling adoptive mom Jen who would rather go back to being a full-time nurse; and Anaya, the young first-time teacher at the school trying to bridge the divide between the old and new students. Each woman faces personal and professional shocks as the rocky school year begins and the two separate student bodies fail to get along. Faith plays a subtle but vital role in how the characters react to events and engage with one another during the tumultuous school year that culminates in dramatic fashion. After a shocking moment of violence at the 5K run, each woman is forced to look at herself honestly and search for the power to heal and forgive. Ganshert's smart use of flashback creates tension from the beginning. Her nuanced exploration of racial issues, generational bigotry, and sexual harassment bring to life complex characters who challenge each other and the reader to open their minds and consider the value of truth and grace.
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WHY NOT ASK?
WHY NOT ASK? Lghudson, Mississippi
No One Ever Asked is not a book to be taken lightly. It is a book that implores you to read it carefully, know the characters intimately, become a part of the community and allow yourself to PARTICIPATE in the story. Believe me - your life will be changed because of the participation! This novel is the story of an impoverished Missouri school district that loses its accreditation and their students are being bussed to the affluent community of Crystal Ridge. Three women’s lives converge: Camille Gray, Jen Covington and Anaya Jones and each struggles with deep, dark secrets in their lives - some they are aware of, some they’ve tried to bury and some that are brand new. If they only could get beyond their own personal feelings towards each other and their situations, they could provide each other with an invaluable support system. It takes an unprecedented act to wake people up. What each of them discovers is an ugly portrait of reality around them. Reality in their community, reality in their families and reality in each of their own lives. Yet, they still cannot completely give voice to the truth about what they’re hiding. How did things get this bad? Because NO ONE EVER ASKED! I was provided an ARC of this by Waterbrook&Multnomah. The opinions expressed here are completely my own and without influence.