A review by amandalorianxo
Betty, by Tiffany McDaniel

challenging dark emotional sad tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


Brutal. Intense. Heavy amount of content that can possibly be triggering. Unprepared. Emotionally traumatizing. These are just a few of the adjectives / phrases that can accompany Betty by Tiffany McDaniel. A novel that is loosely based on the author’s mother’s life, Betty grows up with a mentally/emotionally  traumatized white mother and a Cherokee father. Betty and her multitude of siblings grow up in Breathed, Ohio during the 60’s-70’s era of the United States. Upfront racism and punishment with the ruler at school is in full effect as Betty tries to combat with awful students and the repulsive adults who do nothing to help her. My favorite aspect of this novel is the relationship Betty has with her father. Landon is someone who I think is one of the better written fictional Dad’s I’ve encountered in a while. Often times, novels depict daughters and fathers in an unforgiving light so I’m happy to see that Betty had so much love and light for her father. I too, have a stronger relationship with my own father so seeing emphasized was refreshing. I know this is perhaps more common in marginalized Native communities than I realize but reading this book has impacted me mind, body and soul. 

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