‘So engrossing! 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, Sunday Times bestselling author of Exciting Times
‘I felt consumed by this book. I loved it, you will love it’
Daisy Johnson, Booker Prize shortlisted author of Everthing Under
‘I loved Betty: I fell for its strong characters and was moved by the story it portrayed’
Fiona Mozley, Booker Prize shortlisted author of Elmet
‘A girl comes of age against the knife.’
So begins the story of Betty Carpenter.
Born in a bathtub in 1954 to a Cherokee father and white mother, Betty is the sixth of eight siblings. The world they inhabit is one of poverty and violence – both from outside the family and also, devastatingly, from within. When her family’s darkest secrets are brought to light, Betty has no choice but to reckon with the brutal history hiding in the hills, as well as the heart-wrenching cruelties and incredible characters she encounters in her rural town of Breathed, Ohio.
Despite the hardship she faces, 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 she bears witness to, Betty discovers an escape: she begins to write.
A heartbreaking yet magical story, Betty is a punch-in-the-gut of a novel – full of the crushing cruelty of human nature and the redemptive power of words.
‘Not a story you will soon forget’
Karen Joy Fowler, Booker Prize shortlisted author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
‘Shot through with moonshine, Bible verses, and folklore, Betty is about the cruelty we inflict on one another, the beauty we still manage to find, and the stories we tell in order to survive’
Eowyn Ivey, author of The Snow Child