Anna: If you’re looking for an emotional coming-of-age story I highly recommend Betty. Set in Appalachian Ohio, Betty and her five siblings live with their mother and Cherokee father in a dilapidated house surrounded by racism, poverty, and family secrets. This is also fiercely feminist novel, which I love.
Betty is about sisterly love, nature, and cycles of trauma and abuse in families. When she is eleven, Betty discovers a deadly family secret that shapes the course of her life. Despite the difficult themes, this book is beautifully and lyrically written. Betty’s dad, Landon, and his storytelling the love of nature he encourages in his children are a driving force of the novel. Her mom, on the other hand, is violent and unpredictable, a product of years of being the victim of violence herself.
This is also an own-voices story, as Tiffany McDaniel is the descendants of Cherokee ancestors, and the characters in Betty are fictional accounts of real family members
Major trigger warning for sexual violence
VERDICT: 4.5 stars