Challenging perceptions of discrimination and prejudice, this emotionally resonant drama for readers of Lisa Wingate and Jodi Picoult explores three different women navigating challenges in a changing school district--and in their lives.
When an impoverished school district loses its accreditation and the affluent community of Crystal Ridge has no choice but to open their school doors, the lives of three very different women converge: Camille Gray--the wife of an executive, mother of three, long-standing PTA chairwoman and champion fundraiser--faced with a shocking discovery that threatens to tear her picture-perfect world apart at the seams. Jen Covington, the career nurse whose long, painful journey to motherhood finally resulted in adoption but she is struggling with a happily-ever-after so much harder than she anticipated. Twenty-two-year-old Anaya Jones--the first woman in her family to graduate college and a brand new teacher at Crystal Ridge's top elementary school, unprepared for the powder-keg situation she's stepped into. Tensions rise within and without, culminating in an unforeseen event that impacts them all. This story explores the implicit biases impacting American society, and asks the ultimate question: What does it mean to be human? Why are we so quick to put labels on each other and categorize people as "this" or "that", when such complexity exists in each person?
Katie (K.E.) Ganshert was born and raised in the exciting state of Iowa, where she currently resides with her family. She likes to write things and consume large quantities of coffee and chocolate while she writes all the things. She’s won some awards. For the writing, not the consuming. Although the latter would be fun. You can learn more about K.E. Ganshert and these things she writes at her website www.katieganshert.com.
No One Ever Asked challenged me, provoked me, and, I'll be honest, made me uncomfortable - and that's meant as a compliment! Although I don't make it a habit to read stories this heavy often, I trust Katie Ganshert as an author, and I also know enough of her personal story to believe that she would handle such a tough topic well. Not only does she handle the issues presented in this novel well, she also deftly handles three different points of view. While stories with multiple points of view are not my personal favorite, I found each main character to have distinct personalities. Like real people, they each have positive and negative qualities, moments that fill them with shame, yet moments that are full of triumph.
It’s hard to talk about the plot without giving away key points. I will say that overall, I feel a bit more optimistic about humanity overall than this novel sometimes depicts, yet, at the same time, it’s wrong to turn a blind eye and pretend that everything is wonderful for everyone, everywhere. While reading this novel, I was reminded of a quote by Flannery O’Connor, which says in part that “to the hard of hearing, you shout, and for the almost blind you draw large and startling figures.” So many times I hear others (and I’m sure I’ve done it myself, too) talk about how other people should feel with no knowledge of what life is like for that other person. It’s easy to get comfortable, but stories like this remind us that these are ongoing issues, and the answer is anything but easy. This story reminded me that no matter the color of someone’s skin, their socio-economic situation, or how “amazing” their life appears, everyone is fighting a battle. I was reminded of the importance of looking deeper than the surface and to practice self-awareness – I never want to be the one that doesn’t ask.
No One Ever Asked is one of my most anticipated releases for 2018, and I was not disappointed. This story is honest and heartbreaking, full of real people, brought face-to-face with terrible situations. It is timely and so needed for what our country is going through – in fact, it’s overdue. I applaud Ganshert for writing what was pressing on her heart. It’s importance to her shows through the characters and hardships in this story. It’s not a light read by any means, so make sure you are ready for some soul-searching and tension-filled moments. But also be ready for hope that we can do better – be better – for each other.
I received an advanced copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review; the opinions expressed here are my own.
Wow . . . Just wow. Ganshert pens yet another emotionally moving, grippingly-real story. I can honestly say I have never read another book quite like No One Ever Asked.
Split between the point of views of three different women in vastly different worlds, this book kept me engrossed in the story throughout every page. Each character is so incredibly realistic you can't help but empathize with and relate to them. I think Jen's storyline was probably my favorite, as adoption is a subject very close to my heart, but I also very much enjoyed Anaya's and Camille's stories.
Ganshert deals with a very real and touchy subject - racism. And while she definitely doesn't shy away from the nitty-gritty details, she handles them with incredible tact and grace without downplaying or excusing them. This book is far from painless, yet I am incredibly glad I read it. It opened my eyes to so much and gave me an even greater understanding of racism and the other issues touched upon in this book.
All in all, No One Ever Asked is an incredible novel to add to your library. Highly recommended!
CONTENT NOTE: Recommended for ages 18+ due to mature themes,
"...story is a powerful medium. It speaks to hearts in ways fact and articles cannot. Through it, we get to live someone else's experience. We get to put on someone else's skin and walk a mile in their shoes. Which makes it the best possible breeding ground for empathy. -Katie Ganshert
No One Ever Asked is a powerful story that resonated so deeply with me. Katie Ganshert has an excellent gift of writing each character's feelings and emotions so tangibly onto each page. Combining past headlines with the present, into unfolding drama of 3 women and their families. She adroitly takes on issues of race, social injustice, adoption, infidelity and more. I appreciate that the author didn't try to villainize anyone, but lays out the story to not only the reader's head but also for their heart.
There we're so many parts of the story that elicited so many emotions from sadness and hurt to compassion. But I also felt a deep sense of hope from each woman's story. The quote that I think I will remember the most from this book, is to "be the change where you're at." We cannot change the past but we can learn from it. Grow from it. And learn to respect and love one another. This was an excellent story I highly recommend it!
Jumping outside of my usual genre I read this one for a book club discussion. This novel is perfect for discussion. It's thought provoking in a good way. I was concerned it was going to be stressful but it wasn't. I related to these characters especially the feelings of inadequacy as a mom. I think that's one of the things I'm really going to take away from this book, how EVERYONE has struggles. Another thing is forgiveness. Forgiveness is beautifully woven throughout the last quarter of the story. It is not spelled out for you in Camille's character but the lines are drawn and it works well. Lastly, racial differences between the white and black community's in America are there, even if we try to act as though there are not. The hurts and misunderstandings are real and I have been guilty of brushing them under the rug. I am SO GLAD I read this book and I hope others will read it too.
Oh. My. Wow. I knew when I picked up this book that Katie Ganshert would take me on an emotional journey that would challenge my intellect as well as my mind. And wow, oh wow, Ms. Ganshert did NOT disappoint.
No One Ever Asked follows the journey of three very different women, or are they?
But it wasn’t just these three ladies that captured my attention. That kept me turning the page. The secondary characters were so integral to this story. The issues that Ms. Ganshert tackled were nothing short of amazing. For one, she chose to tackle them. Two, they were done in such a way that not one overlapped the other. I mean we have racial issues, social class issues, sexual harassment issues, etc. Each time she unveiled a piece of the story my mind was whirling, thinking of times I’ve experienced the same or haven’t and understanding what a person could have been dealing with.
If you don’t find an ounce of empathy growing in your heart after reading this book, I’d ask you to read it again. It’s that great. That life altering.
Having taught in North Carolina in the late 1960's during the middle of desegregation, I found this book very interesting. I taught in an all black school where the only integration that had taken place was the teaching staff. It was close to a military base and over half the teachers were military wives who would leave as soon as their husbands were transferred which meant some classes might have 2 or 3 teachers in the same year. My husband was discharged from the service in March, but we had made a commitment that I would complete the school year with my class. I later taught in Texas at the beginning of enforced desegregation where children were bussed to different schools in order to equalize ethnic ratios.
Having lived through this, I feel that Ganshert definitely did her research and was accurate in her portrayal of the happenings during this time period. She navigated well between the turmoil, prejudices, and discrimination that took place then and continues now. She challenges the readers thinking as she follows the three main women characters through the happenings in their area as one lower income school district is closed when it loses its accreditation and another wealthy district must absorb many of its students. Each of the women grows in their understanding of their own prejudices and beliefs. This book deals with hot button topics that are still a brick wall for many people today. Ganshert stepped out of her comfort zone and in so doing made me consider my own thinking. This book made my 2018 favorites list.
**I received a complimentary copy of this book from Random House through NetGalley. Opinions are mine alone. I was not compensated for this review.
Meh. A VERY sanitized Book Club novel that tries to cover far too many themes thereby doing injustice to each. The author attempts to weave racial segregation, racial profiling, marital infidelity, marital separation, possession of concealed weapons, gun violence, interracial adoption, attachment disorder, teenage angst/romance, juvenile diabetes, female friendship, and #metoo sexual harassment/rape all together into a very "vanilla" story that ties all of these themes up in a rushed "Happily Ever After" ending. Pass.
Oh, friends. I don't even know where to begin. This is hard stuff. This is powerful stuff! This is an incredible journey from first page to last, but it is not for the faint of heart. This is for the hurting ones. This is for the uncertain ones. This is for all those who want to help and to make a difference, to bless and encourage, but have no idea where to begin. And ultimately? This is for all of us. A story of hard, yet a story of hope! It will make you cringe in places and wish you could hide, yet realize that the only way hard can be conquered, the only way hate can be conquered, is with one single, first step. Love. The truest, deepest love that searches out your own darkness, acknowledges its presence, seeks redemption, and then compels you out of passivity and into spreading that love far out beyond yourself.
There is no way to read this story and feel wishy-washy by the final page. Ms. Ganshert asks the hard questions and then she asks even harder ones! (Appropriate with that title, yes? :) She takes three very different characters and melds their stories, their questions, their fears, their doubts, and their hope together. I was wondering how it was going to work, knowing there would be multiple points of view, but I should have trusted. Especially knowing she has her own personal journey which likely brings these issues extra close home for her. Actually, it's that very knowing which intrigued me to pick this one up. There's just something about reading an author's work when you understand bits of the journey which brought it to life, isn't there? (Which is one reason why I love to read the Author's Notes at the end of the book. To discover those extra little details! :)
The quietly building tension kept me on the edge of my seat as the characters began entangling their journeys with one another, struggle by struggle. Nothing about any of the choices confronting each of them is easy and their constantly weaving pathways that circle around again and again seem like they would only drive them further apart, not together. And they did. At least at first. These ladies could not be any more different from one another. And yet? It takes each hard, rough interaction and uneasy conversation to bring them all to the place where they can finally confront their own darkness and shame and see out beyond it to the light. Once that happens? Oh friends, it's a powerful journey! And a necessary one. As Ms. Ganshert noted, a story such as this should prompt more conversation and a hard look at oneself and our own choices.
For all the dark that must be conquered here, it's the beautiful redemption and HOPE that weaves through every single paragraph which caught my heart. The harshness of the reality these characters (and we ourselves) must face every day is made gentler with Ms. Ganshert's wonderful writing. I can only imagine that such a story as this was not easy to create, but everything flows so well that it took a bit for me to leave Missouri behind once I had finished reading! These characters, their journeys, and the lessons to be learned are necessary and real. So be sure to read this one, friends! It's utterly unforgettable.
**I received a complimentary copy via Waterbrook & Multnoma. All opinions expressed are my own.
I am only allowed to give this book 5 stars in rating? Why? Why can't I give it 5 stars ten million times? It's that amazing. Yes, yes it is. It is absolutely raw. Utterly captivating. Beautifully written. Heart stoppingly real. Every. Last. Page.
Mrs. Ganshert takes every day questions, and every day situations and puts them into a novel that will consume you. Each of these characters jumped off the pages and told their stories to me like they were sitting right beside me on the couch. Each of them made me want to wrap my arms around them and hold on for dear life, telling them all would be okay and that the world isn't all bad.
This book brings to point so many things that today's society is dealing with. So many. Just as the book describes, we as humans have to have a label for everything. If there's not a label for it, we don't know how to exist. No one ever asks the real questions. We just slap a label and run. Mrs. Ganshert takes her readers on a deep journey showing us the outcome that can arise if we would just stop that, and live life for God, and for us. Life doesn't have to be so complicated.
If you are reading this review, then heade my words. Go preorder this book NOW. Don't wait. You will want to read this book and devour it in one sitting the way I did. This book is one of the best I have ever read, and I can't sing it's praises loud enough. Beautifully done, Mrs. Ganshert, and I absolutely can not wait for another thought provoking, jaw dropping, heart wrenching read from your talented hands!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging For Books and was under no obligation to post a review, positive or negative.*
This book touched on a major topic that is Relevant in today's society, not only in education but in every industry and every home. Reading this book gave me a chance to get into the heads and hearts of both the Black and White characters. It's really sad when the children are faced with the hate, jealousy, and ignorance that has been passed down from adults who by right may not know any better from their own upbringing. As a Black woman I am taught to forgive people who hurt you because they will have to answer to a higher power. I am a work in progress in regards to forgiveness. What I do know is that people of all races matter and we have a long way to go. But as the author says let's continue to have the conversation and try to make life better for all involved.
I liked this book but it fell far from the "love" section on my scale. It was for the most part pretty well written and had developed characters so if I just sat down and checked off criteria for a "decent" book it would meet all of those expectations. However, where it was lacking was the overall plot, story, and how it made the reader "me" feel. I felt it was a bit unrealistic and preachy. It definitely had an agenda and while I'm not going to say the end result agenda is not correct or worthwhile, I simply didn't like the path the characters took to accomplish it. I felt the only growth the author showed was in the white middle class woman. Everyone else was extremely racist and were just allowed to be that and by the end very little growth was given to those characters. I also found the way the author portrayed the white middle class woman was beyond annoying. She was the type of person who thrived in chaos. I know a couple of people just like her and having to read it day in and day out drastically turned me off the book.
So there you go---- I'm not sad I read it. But, I feel it added nothing to my collected experiences and will soon be forgotten.
My apologies to the author and publisher. I know how your heart went into this book. I wish I could have given it a glowing review, but I need to be honest to myself and everyone one.
In compliance with FTC guidelines------I received this book free from Goodreads Giveaway in exchange for an honest review. The content of this review is not influenced by that fact. The feelings expressed are solely mine. I sincerely appreciate the chance to read and review this book before release.
Crystal Ridge is a desirable, wealthy community known for it's excellent schools. The adjacent South Fork school district is impoverished and about to loss it's accreditation. The solution is to bus some of the South Fork students to Crystal Ridge. But some in the mainly white white Crystal Ridge district are not thrilled to welcome the black students. One of the more vocal opponents is Camille Gray, PTA president and mother of three. Imagine her surprise when she discovers her daughter's new teacher is Anaya Jones, a prior South Fork student. The third voice of the story is Jen Covington, new to Crystal Ridge, and struggling with the challenges of a foreign adoption. While they may portray to the world they have it all together they have issues, doubts and problems they are facing. The story deals with racism, school segregation, international adoption and learning to look past bias to see a person not a skin color in a thought provoking, sensetive manner.
Such a thought provoking book about the different points of view when a predominantly black school is to be bused to a predominantly white school. The characters within the pages were well described and I felt their emotions of joy and pain.
Although it took me a bit to get engaged in this novel, I was pulled in completely about a third of the way in. So much hurt and heart.
I don't think I've ever picked up one of Katie Ganshert's books and haven't loved it. But this one. Oh my goodness, it surpasses any of her others! It's highly appropriate for the current crazy world we live in. I think that I literally read this in about a day. I got completely lost in the story.
I received a copy as part of the Blogging for Books program. Sadly, this is my last review for them as they are discontinuing the program. I was not required to like the book, only give my honest opinion.
Recommended to fans of Karen Kingsbury, Lisa Wingate, Jodi Picoult
"No One Ever Asked" is one of those books that require humility to read. I'm afraid I'm gonna jumble throughout this review, but if you don't remember/understand anything else, please take this to heart: you need humility to read this book .
Each one of us in our day-to-day lives is put in positions of influence one way or another. Honestly, we might not even recognize we're in it, but don't doubt your influence. This is one of the reasons this book can be uncomfortable because, as we relate to it, we can think: but I didn't mean to; what was I suppose to do? what can I do? Start here, by this question: what can I do, and be truly opened to take a step from here.
Throughout this book, the author mentioned many quotes from other books, including one of my favorites: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not.” - The Lorax I adore it when I can use this quote with my students (not sure they're that enthusiastic when their teacher becomes all environmentalist on them haha) because it brings back that idea of influence, making the best of opportunities, being present and opened to care. There are many horrible things going on around the world, and let me tell you a few items that are top listed: prejudice and gossip. It breaks my heart to see this happening, but to live as if it didn't (even if it's not "our reality") is just not practicing empathy.
Personally, I felt like "No One Never Asked" was an invitation to go beyond my preconceptions, to seek more deeply into ideas I was pretty sure I knew everything about. It was a wake-up call that maybe we're holding tightly to a few misconceptions and being fueled by pride. In a world where arrogance and overconfidence are praised, would we be willing to take the first step and humble ourselves to see and listen to others? To put ourselves in others' shoes?
Segregation and intolerance kill fellowship and I believe, above all else, this book is a wake-up call to this. It was not a way to point fingers but a tool to approach difficult topics and start asking: where do we stand among this?
Again, this was not a comfortable book because it deals with difficult topics; nevertheless, they are urgent topics because they are related to life, they lead us to not fall again into the trap that empathy comes naturally either than being something that must be awakened, cared for, cultivated and nourished. Not by pushing yourself away, but by bringing yourself close.
*many thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy. This was my honest review.
I am so incredibly happy to have read this book and sincerely thank WaterBrook & Multnomah publishing and Netgalley for the opportunity to review it.
Before seeing this title on Netgalley, I had never heard of this author or this book. The plot summary interested me and I thought it would be something to push my boundaries and make me uncomfortable (in a good way). Not only is this book incredible and a five star read, it is one of my favorite books of the year. Hands down.
The story begins with the South Fork school district's loss of accreditation. This school district is mostly made up of minority students and is severely underfunded and understaffed. Due to the accreditation loss, the school must offer the students the ability to transfer to Crystal Ridge, a more affluent school district that is number one in the state. This school district happens to be almost all white and the community does not handle the transfer news well. We observe how this unfolds through the eyes of Camille, the white, supermom, PTA Queen, who runs the annual 5k and organizes everybody and everything. Anaya, the young, black, new teacher at Crystal Ridge who takes on the immense challenge of teaching second graders and trying to keep her family afloat at the same time. Lastly, Jen, a middle class white woman who recently adopted a seven year old from Liberia. We watch her figure out what it means to be a new mother to a black child in this environment.
No matter how progressive your beliefs, or how much you previously thought you knew regarding the topic of race today in America - I urge you to read this book. The author has masterfully compiled so many different storylines that all interweave together, showing us how we all come with pre-conceived thoughts about a person (based on their appearance) or a topic (based on stereotypes we've grown up with) and how that can change when we communicate, open our minds and listen to each other.
This is the most relevant to current day issues book I’ve ever read. And honestly, it has only become more relevant since it was written. No One Ever Asked tackles the difficult conversations relating to racism and education and many other topics. Being a public school teacher myself I related even more to this book, but with three main characters and tons of side characters, everyone will find someone to relate to in this book.
No One Ever Asked revolves around the lives of three separate women and their families. Anaya, Camille, and Jen have a few things in common but truly lead very different lives. I found myself relating very much to Anaya as she is a teacher. But I also felt an extreme longing to be Jen since she is an adoptive mother and I’d very much like to do the same one day.
I was really impressed with Anaya. For a first-year teacher, she really had it all together. Her classroom sounded amazing and I love that she prayed for her students. With Jen what I loved the most were the strong emotions, she was feeling as an adoptive mom. The window into her soul was truly heartbreaking at times and heartwarming at other points in the story. I admired her courage and strength. With Camille, I’ll admit being a little annoyed. But at the same time, I know tons of people just like her - full of opinions without any true reasons behind them!
The issues tackled in the book with race were good reminders that our country hasn��t really come that far. Black children, teens, and adults alike have to be so careful. It broke my heart to read some of the stories in this book about conversations black kids have to have with their parents. Racism is still a problem today and I’m glad Ganshert tackled a difficult topic.
I also really appreciated the honesty in which adoption was written about. Many people think that adoption is a piece of cake and I’m glad Ganshert shared some of the difficult moments it can bring. I actually learned a lot in this book about attachment. It was so interesting to have an inside peek into the life of a family with an internationally adopted child. I especially loved the moments when Anaya sat down with Jen and gave her advice.
This book will challenge you to look into your own life. To see how you think about so many things including but not limited to: race, gun violence, education, teachers, segregation, health, bullying, and forgiveness.
I’ve read this book twice now and can honestly say I noticed new things the second time. I know this is one I will read over and over again because it truly is that good.
I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. This is my honest review.
Have you ever read a story that just gut-punched you? One that forced you to hold a mirror up to yourself and ask some hard questions?
Katie Ganshert delivers exactly that with No One Ever Asked. Hold on friends, because I have a lot to say about this one!
The thread that ties each of the three main characters together is one of integrating students from a failing school district—one that’s student majority is black—with the state’s top, predominantly white district. As you can guess, there is some backlash, racism, and heated conversations around this.
But this book goes so much deeper. This book is about broken families. Whether it be the family that seems to have it all together and suddenly falls apart, the family doing its best to hold itself together after a loss, or one that is finding its footing after an adjustment, Ganshert examines each of these familial relationships with intention. From rebellious teenagers, uncertainty in parenting skills, or finding your place in a new reality, the three women whose lives share the pages in No One Ever Asked are finding their way through their own struggles.
This book is about fixing our broken selves—our failing relationships, our guilt over past mistakes, our doubt in our present or future—before pointing the finger at others. It’s about teaching our children that appearance isn’t important, it’s what’s beneath skin color, physical traits, or disabilities that make one person different than the other. God rejoices in each of his children and He doesn’t make mistakes.
Long after that last word is read, after the book has been returned to the shelf, I hope echoes of this story bleed into my words, my reactions, and my attitude when it comes to other people. Kudos to Ganshert for tackling subjects too many people are perfectly content to ignore.
Disclosure statement: I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
Brilliantly written book that will make you think deeply about the subject of judgment and the way you look at and perceive others. It was a very convicting book for me, and hopefully it will be for other readers as well. It is the story of three women and their life experiences, and those of the people around them as well. Ganshert gets to the heart of many issues: race, religion, adoption, infidelity and divorce among many others. You will consider your own position on forgiveness and equality, and it might be altered by the end of the book. Highly recommended for book clubs and those who like books with meaty subject matter.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
In her note at the end of the book, the author says she hopes readers come away from the story with empathy. I can't think of a more perfect word to describe the heart of No One Ever Asked. It digs about as deep as fiction can go, pulls back the veil on racism, and portrays real life people struggling to live good lives--and some people who aren't as willing to struggle. This story educates, examines, and empowers us all to look deep into our own hearts. It also entertains with an extraordinarily simple plot that asks "Who did it?" The complexity is in the "Why."
This book belongs on the NY Times Bestseller List. I hope it makes it.
Not sure how to rate this one. I felt like the story was decently compelling, but I felt let down at the end. I expected more than what I got. And I found most of the characters to be largely unlikable. But I did think there were some good points made too, and it was definitely a thought provoking book.
I have no words. Just tears and a swollen heart. I knew this would be an emotional read when I picked it up, but after having heard so many rave reviews I thought I was prepared.
This book undid me so many times—sometimes in the little things, but other times in scenes that will stay with me forever.
In the author’s note at the end, Katie Ganshert says, “Story is a powerful medium. It speaks to hearts in ways facts and articles cannot. Through it, we get to live someone else’s experience. We get to put on someone else’s skin and walk a mile in their shoes, which makes it the best possible breeding ground for empathy.” Well, they’d better be sturdy shoes, because you’ll walk a lot further than a mile in this book. And you’ll probably need to stop and have a few quiet sobs along the way—although, if you’re anything like me, you won’t be able to put the book down while you do. It’s the kind of story that compels you to keep reading. Even when I told myself to put it down (and occasionally managed to follow through), I’d find my thoughts drifting back, then suddenly I would be in the middle of another chapter without even realising I’d picked up the book.
The overarching story is gripping in its own right, but it’s the three point of view characters and the very different perspectives they bring that gives this story maximum impact. All three women are brilliantly drawn—genuine, yet flawed—and through their individual struggles and the way their lives intersect, we’re given a convicting picture of the subtle and not-so-subtle ways we judge others and make assumptions about them and their lives, particularly when there are racial differences involved. And that climax—wow! The prologue gives you a hint of what to expect, but you really have no idea who’s involved until it happens, and that carries a powerful message in itself.
This is an eye-opening read and so well written. You’ll be convicted, you’ll cry, and you’ll come away changed. But whatever else you do, make sure you pick this one up!
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not influenced the content of my review, which is my honest and unbiased opinion.
Community. Compassion. Empathy. Love. This world needs more yet can these things truly be achieved without understanding (or at the very least, a desire to understand)? I think not.
No One Ever Asked glows with rich, multi-layered authenticity and diversity. I found myself relating to each of the three main characters in at least a small way yet also learning from each struggle, situation, and background.
We don't understand one another's struggles because we don't ask. We assume. We label. We circle the wagons when we should be opening doors and tearing down walls, ceilings, and stereotypes. I highly recommend this story to everyone!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review. The opinions expressed are my own.
I have loved all of Katie's books and have been anticipating this novel for awhile! This book is SO good but also SO heavy. Get ready to feel and at times feel uncomfortable. Katie did an excellent job in writing current situations and difficulties not just in a school district but what goes on in our homes. Now I will add that there isn't much about religion or a relationship with God. While I didn't mind, I was a tad surprised to find not much about God in the book. I think much of this is in between the pages. This story reminded me a lot of perhaps a Jodi Picoult novel or the like. After reading all of Katie's books I would say this one is the most different and I think books like this are needed in a Christian market. My favorite part of the book is the story line following Jen Covington and her adoption of a little girl. I liked reading her side of the story and it really added to the book. So of course, Katie has done it again with a five star read!
Look for it in stores April 2018!
"I received this book from Blogging for Books for free. All opinions are my own."
I was looking forward to this book the moment I heard about it. Katie Ganshert has been one of my favorite authors from the moment I finished her first book, so I knew I could trust her to tackle the sensitive issue of racism with grace, honesty and without preaching. No One Ever Asked is not an easy read. I don't think it should be. It is eye opening and heartbreaking. Ganshert shines a light not only on racism, but with a marriage in crises, sexual harassment, and international adoption. Each character brings their own story to the table, and we are drawn in to all their lives, each of the three women's struggles no less important than the next. I love books that challenge me, make me think a little harder and dig a little deeper into my own conscience, and this one certainly made me do that. It also made me cry. An absolutely brilliant offering for such a time as this. I highly recommend this novel.
My main criticisms of this novel: 1. There are TOO MANY conflicts for one novel. There are 3 main storylines, and each one could have been developed into its own novel. As an example, Jen and her husband have just adopted a 7-year-old daughter from Africa, and they work through issues and heartache this brings on. It is a touching storyline that could have been developed deeper and made into its own novel. 2. Each main character has A LOT of baggage/issues/conflicts. Not one of them was likable. The tone of the novel was negative. Potential themes: life sucks, life is full of problems, nothing is easy. Thankfully there is redemption at the end! But I would have appreciated more hope throughout. 3. In my opinion, Ganshert implied that any "concerns" about SouthFork's problems were not legit concerns, but racism. P.S. There are at least 2 errors in the book. One is on p. 204: "THEIR gonna look so good in my hair."
Initially I wasn't aware that this is a "Christian" book. I went into it with an open mind. However, I was immediately put off with the primary topic being racism from a white author. I did finish the book because I wanted to see where she was going with the story. I will say that I appreciate her honestly portraying the white perspective, I just couldn't be sure if her African American perspective is real because she isn't one herself.
There were too many sub-plots and characters happening that I didn't feel like there was a conclusion or resolution in many of them. I appreciate the authors attempt at bringing the racism topic to white Christians, however I'm not sure it really would change any perspectives.
Thank you to Penguin Random house for providing me with this advanced readers copy.
Katie Ganshert poured her heart out while writing this novel. It's evident on every page. I so appreciated how she navigated the storytelling, how she wrote the characters with authenticity, and how she told the truth without brow beating. Rather, she puts an arm around the reader and says, "Do you see? It's time to learn, time to grow. Let's do this together."
This is no gushy read. It's not soft and easy. In fact, it requires that the reader encounters their own heart, examining it to see in what ways it needs to transform. I highly recommend this book. Should it stir up emotions, it would be advisable for the reader to consider why those emotions are stirred/provoked. This is an important novel.
Had a hard time putting this one down. Very much loved each narrative and it was a great book to help get in someone else’s shoes. Towards the end, I did feel like there was too much going on, too many issues to deal with between the racism, health issues, adoption, marital issues, sexual abuse/assault/abuse of power, school segregation, parenting dilemmas, etc. I wasn’t completely satisfied with the resolution to some of those things and think some of them were unnecessary to the story (especially if they weren’t going to be fleshed out). I also appreciated that, although it was a Christian book, it lacked the sentimental preachiness that Christian authors tend to fall into. I usually avoid Christian fiction but this was genuine quality fiction.