Yes, this is a highly-anticipated novel. An Indie Next “Great Read for September,” one of O Magazine’s “Best Books to Pick Up before Summer Ends,” one of Entertainment Weekly’s “20 Late-Summer Must-Reads for August” and that’s just the half of it. No wonder. It is compelling and lyrical. The novel is set in the Ohio hills and loosely based on the life of the author’s mother who was raised and lived there but was actually born in Arkansas to a Cherokee father and white mother. The fictional Betty is the sixth of eight children who seeks solace in the woods and in the written word. "Betty is Betty Carpenter’s gripping coming of age story and is bold, inventive and profoundly moving. It is not a story blind to the character’s abuse, but also reveals the love, sweetness, and magic in her life. Betty is too brown, too female and too poor for the world, but her story reminds us that despite all obstacles there are those blessed times when we can still manage to find our voices and sing. A triumph!”—Stephanie Powell Watts. “So engrossing! Tiffany McDaniel’s 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. "This novel broke my brain. The lush, hypnotic prose, the voice, so authentic and compelling, as Betty Carpenter holds your hand and leads you through a world filled with familial tragedy. Each more haunting than the last, until you're left holding your breath, with a tourniquet on your heart. This is powerful, relentless storytelling at its best." —Jamie Ford. "Tiffany McDaniel has given us a vivid and haunting portrait of the writer as a young girl. Betty Carpenter survives the brutality of her childhood through her father's stories and his steadfast belief in her own. A novel of tragedy and trouble, poetry and power, not a story you will soon forget." —Karen Joy Fowler. "I felt consumed by the ambitious enormity and sadness of this book. Betty is about the power of words and the language it is written in rings with this. I loved it, you will love it." —Daisy Johnson. This novel shares the fictional Breathed, Ohio, setting of Tiffany McDaniel’s first novel, The Summer That Melted Everything. She is a poet and visual artist born and raised in the Ohio hills.
New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2020. 480 pages. Hardback in dust jacket.