‘A girl comes of age against the knife’
So begins the story of Betty Carpenter.
Born in a bathtub in 1954 to a white mother and a Cherokee father, Betty is the sixth of eight siblings: the world they inhabit in the rural town of Breathed, Ohio, is one of poverty and loss, of lush landscapes and blazing stars.
Despite the hardships she encounters, 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 to which she bears witness – the horrors of her family’s past and present – Betty discovers an escape: she begins to write.
NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS
We were very touched by the destiny of Betty, who had such a rough life, between racism, poverty, incest and being different. This novel recalls a lot of problems of our society. But as hard as the story might be, the writing is full of an unforgettable poetry. And the relationship between Betty and her father is one of the most beautiful we have ever seen in literature. Bibliothèques municipales de Genève, Switzerland
“Betty is the daughter of a Cherokee father and white mother. This amazing book deals with family heritage and tragedies especially through a particular father daughter relationship. It’s also a novel about the brutality of the world, female experience concerning racial and sexual mistreatments and, most of all, about the power of words and poetry.
Brutally haunting, poetic, Betty is an unforgettable book . We highly recommend this novel !
Réseau des bibliothèques de Colmar, France