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4.43  ·  Rating details ·  5,655 ratings  ·  1,176 reviews
A stunning, lyrical novel set in the rolling foothills of the Appalachians in which a young girl discovers stark truths that will haunt her for the rest of her life.

"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
Hardcover, 480 pages
Published August 18th 2020 by Knopf
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Jennifer Del Duca This book is so beautifully written. And there are some seriously brutal scenes that caused me to pause and wonder if I should go on. Just REALLY roug…moreThis book is so beautifully written. And there are some seriously brutal scenes that caused me to pause and wonder if I should go on. Just REALLY rough stuff. But then I got to page 261. And I've decided I'm done. She's incredibly talented, her writing is poetic, but I just can't push forward through some of the traumatic content. (less)
Melissa Baker Rape, Incest, Animal Abuse, Racism, Suicide/Suicide Attempts, Death.

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Average rating 4.43  · 
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 ·  5,655 ratings  ·  1,176 reviews

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i enjoyed The Summer that Melted Everything a bunch, but Betty; a standalone with spillover into TSTME, has so much more weight. i remember bits and pieces from The Summer that Melted Everything—i remember the language being striking, i remember the framework and a few details in particular, but this one is going to stay in my brain for a lot longer, and there are specific scenes i know are with me for life; not as fond memories of a book i en
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
More than five-star worthy, my favorite book of summer 2020. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

I read and loved The Summer That Melted Everything when it published four years ago. Incidentally, I won a copy of that book from a blog giveaway, and since it was autographed, I was put in contact with the author and quickly found she is as lovely and kind as I imagined she’d be.

When you read one of her books, now that I have two under my belt, I can say this with absolute certainty, the reader knows she has something
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
4+ strong stars for this unforgettable story!

This is a story about family. Betty is the daughter of a white mother and Cherokee father. Of all her siblings, Betty develops the most physical traits of her Cherokee heritage. Betty’s father takes pride in teaching his children the stories of his ancestors and passing down his family traditions involving the healing powers of plants and herbs. Betty’s family struggles to fit in no matter where they live, but her family unit keeps her grounded and co
✨ A ✨
“When I was your age, I wanted to be someone else too.”
“Who’d you wanna be, Dad?”
“Someone important. You know why I call you Little Indian? So that you know you’re already someone important.”

This is the story of Betty Carpenter and her family as they move from place to place until they finally settle in Breathed, Ohio on the foothills of the Appalachian mountains.

The Carpenters don’t fit in anywhere. Betty’s father, Landon, is Cherokee and her mother, Alka, is white. Betty, of all of her sibling
Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
Tiffany McDaniel has joined us for a spoiler-free Q & A in our Behind the Pages and gave us some great insight into Betty's story and her journey to getting her story of the shelves. Don't miss reading what she has to say!

You can find the thread here

Betty is a story inspired by Tiffany McDaniel's mother, Betty and her family secrets. It's a story of abuse, racism and poverty but a story of love through the strong connections Betty has with her father Land
Edward Lorn
Aug 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
BETTY, by Tiffany McDaniel, will be a book that will bring forth reviews loaded with what will seem like hyperbole. Then you'll read it for yourself and understand that no one is exagerrating when they say that this book destroyed them, that it is a beautiful yet horrific masterpiece, that you have never read anything quite like it.

The first note I'd like to make is: that unassuming cover is going to lure in a lot of unsuspecting readers. BETTY is a horror novel. There's dread and terror on alm
Sep 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This will be among my favorite reads of this year!
The story is based on the life of the author’s mother.
This is a coming of age story set in the rolling hills of Ohio.
A young white woman and a young Cherokee man come together and they marry and have eight children
This is the story of their lives .. they are poor, and the story is filled with tragedy, racial discrimination, abuse, and pain.. but there is such a sweetness too..
The father’s love for his children is the most moving part of this boo
’I’m a child, only as tall as my father’s shotgun…When I sit next to him, I can feel the summer heat coming off his skin like he’s just another tin roof on a hot day.’

Her mother tells her stories, dark, filled with ominous warnings about what life is like for women. She knows from experience. Her father tells her stories, too, some from his family, Cherokee legends, and some from his heart - and one about his heart - a heart that is made of glass. When she asks how a piece of glass is inside him
Elyse  Walters
Oct 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredible book!!!
Beautiful ...
Betty ... BETTY... Betty....
....I’ll never forget Betty and this gorgeously written story.

This coming-of-age story about a girl of mixed race ...based on the authors real life family history...(her mother, *Betty*, at the heart of Tiffany McDaniel’s inspiration), is masterfully told.

It deals with abuse, sexual abuse, racism, poverty, prejudice, family secrets, guilt, sexism, suicide, and other family tragedies.
Historically epic... this family saga is
Irena BookDustMagic
Trigger warning: this book talks about racism, have graphic scenes about bullying and violence, talks about child loss, abuse, suicide, and also has homophobic lines that are part of the story.

Back in 2016 I read McDaniel's debut novel The Summer That Melted Everything and it is now one of my all time favourite reads. I knew then that I want to read everything she publishes in the future.

This year we were lucky to see her second novel published, Betty, that was in reality the first novel she wro
Angela M
I was hesitant to start this because I knew it was going to be disturbing. Yet, I decided to read it since a number of my friends rated it so highly. At 40% in I can’t read any further. I’m sorry to abandon Betty , since she’s a character that I loved. I gave up when Betty’s mother started to tell her a story from her past as a birthday present to Betty on her ninth birthday. Up to this point, the story is well written, sad, horrible, and disturbing, with moments of love and beauty , but I just ...more
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tiffany McDaniel’s incredible novel Betty broke me. It’s the coming-of-age story of Betty Carpenter. Born in a bathtub in 1954, Betty, the sixth of eight children, was raised for most of her life in the foothills of the Ohio Appalachians. Her father Landon Carpenter is a proud Cherokee married to her mother, Alka Lark, who is white. While her siblings look more like her mother, Betty is most like her father with dark skin.

The family is poor but Landon provides his children with inventive storyt
Betsy Robinson
Jul 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is a level of emotional pain that I find almost unbearable—usually evoked by stories of animal or child abuse. The only remedy for me, other than shutting down completely, is vacuuming. Suffice it to say that the experience reading Betty left me with the cleanest carpet and wood floor I've ever had.

The book was at times so excruciating that I had to stop reading and not only clean but lie on the couch and pant in pain. Nevertheless, this is a very good novel—a story based on the author's m
Aug 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, 2020
I’m left utterly breathless. What an immense story contained within a singular family. I don’t know if there’s a way to adequately prepare someone to go into this novel, but here I’ll do my best.

You know what the heaviest thing in the world is, Betty?

This book was the quiet before the storm, and then it was the storm itself. Tiffany McDaniel‘s writing is exquisite. There’s a way that authors-who-are-also-poets write that’s almost immediately identifiable. It felt like every other line containe
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

"Don't you wish you had a sack full of good days, Betty? Whenever you were havin' a bad day you could reach into the sack and make everything better."

Between the ‘Rona being errrrywhere and homeschooling (both high school and college versions) and entirely new systems at work despite no one being at actual work, I haven’t been on here in a hot minute. Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut I’m still reading like a maniac and had to say a lil’ summi
Johann (jobis89)
Jun 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
“Boys are like that. Always tryin’ to pretend they’re savin’ girls from somethin’. They never seem to realize, we can save ourselves.”

First of all, HUGE thank you to @orionbooks for this review copy! Chalk it up now: Tiffany McDaniel is a REAL bonafide talent. The Summer That Melted Everything was not a one-off masterpiece - McDaniel is here to stay.

Betty is a coming-of-age tale based upon McDaniel’s mother’s upbringing in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Heavily infused with the stun
Believe me when I say that I really wanted to love this novel. Like many others I was a big fan of McDaniel's debut novel, The Summer that Melted Everything - in fact it was one of my favourite novels of the year: the atmosphere of Breathed, Ohio (pronounced Breath Ed) felt perfectly evoked, the story of Sal and the locals was gripping and the writing was pitch perfect. So it's with great sadness that I'm reviewing this book unfavourably, but Betty had one too many issues which in the end I coul ...more
Sep 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book, so deeply tragic and extremely harrowing, yet somehow heartwarming too. A story full of rich characters, best of all, young Betty, bruised by life, tender hearted yet fierce and resilient, I just loved her. The Appalachian setting and the Cherokee stories and traditions told by Betty's father came alive for me, I almost felt I was there. A warning though, this is a story that for some may hold many triggers, in fact probably all of them, it made me angry and it made me cry, but ...more
Bark  |  Ladies Of Horror Fiction
*I received an ARC from Netgalley with the unspoken promise I'd write a review. Here it is.

I said this about The Summer That Melted Everything and I’m going to say the exact same thing about Betty. “This story is cruel, it is bleak and it is beautifully descriptive and impossible to put down.” If you haven’t read the work of Tiffany McDaniel you are truly missing out because her prose is pure magic and I am not exaggerating. These two books deserve every single star in the reviewing universe.

Sep 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, historical
The haunting story of young Betty Carpenter growing up in a small town in Ohio, in the foothills of the Appalachian range. Born in 1954, Betty is the sixth of eight children born to Landon Carpenter, a proud Cherokee father, who rescues their white mother, Alka Lark, from a bad home. Sadly for Betty, she looks like her father and is the subject of discrimination because of her dark skin, whereas her siblings look like her mother. Each of her siblings has his/her own issues, which is to a large e ...more
Sep 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book should come with a large trigger warning sticker, it’s an extremely heavy read so proceed with caution...

Betty is one of 8 children born to a white mother and a Cherokee father they are dirt poor and move around a lot until they finally settle in Breathed, Ohio deep in the Appalachian foothills.

The story reflects the heavy weight of racism, trauma and abuse and the devastating effects. Although the book is extremely emotional and draining it’s also profoundly moving with rich and memor
Jessica Jeffers
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, arc-physical
Oh, man. This book needs a hundred content warnings and sometimes it felt like a little too much to bear, but the final 100 pages are some of the most haunting I've read in years. ...more
Oct 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
A book such as “Betty” is extremely important in a day and age where more people rightly want to educate themselves about other cultures. Diversity in literature is extremely important and it is paramount that these voices are heard.
This year, I have wanted to learn more about indigenous people/ the Cherokee people, as I am not as educated about them as I would like to be and (as I previously stated) I think it is SO important to learn about other cultures outside of your own.

Set in the rolling
Dan Schwent
Sep 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-books, 2020
Betty is a brutal coming of age tale, the tale of a girl with a Cherokee father, a white mother, and a family with enough skeletons in its closet to populate a decent sized cemetery. Will Betty make it out of Breathed, Ohio, alive?

As Goodreaders may know, I was a tremendous fan of The Summer That Melted Everything, Tiffany McDaniel's debut novel, and did what I could to help get the word out. When this one was ready to go, I was all in.

While The Summer That Melted Everything was published first,
Aaron Nash
Jul 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I am in awe. Betty is a marvel. A masterclass in writing. It feels like every phrase, damn, every sentence, is astonishing. It's a novel that other authors will envy. If I had only a smidgen of Tiffany's talent I would be happy. Betty is a harrowing, beautiful experience. Full of hope and despair. Sadness and longing. A terrifying novel that made me feel every emotion possible. At times it made me so angry I was literally gritting my teeth, but amidst that rage there are also signs of light scat ...more
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 ★

Born in 1956 to a Cherokee father and white mother, Betty Carpenter was raised to respect nature and was given the gift of storytelling. Among her siblings, Betty is the only one to resemble her father and is closest to him, but the connection to her roots doesn’t make the prejudices she must face any easier. Poor and deemed to be different in a small town with ignorant beliefs is a constant struggle, as Betty must find a way to overcome such adversity.

“Boys are like that. Always tryin’
Aug 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I knew this book was going to be tough but I did not expect to be so gut wrenching. This book is full of tragic events, it’s not fair that so much could happen to one family.
Betty’s dad Landon is by far one my most favourite characters ever. He came from nothing and while his family grew up in poverty, he was a constant reminder that it is not money that leads to a rich life.
There are a lot of scenes that may be triggering so I have posted trigger warnings at the end of this
As a warning: I wrote this review when I had about 30 pages left because I knew I wouldn’t be in an stable emotional place to write this. I was right, im an absolute mess.

I read to discover books like this. Books that change me. Change me as a reader, as a person, and how I view the world. This book hit hard. It hit hard in a way I don’t know how to explain.

This book is getting compared to A Little Life a lot, and I hate to mention it in this review, but they felt the same to me. My insides fe
Well Read Beard
Feb 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-books
This will be a rambling, gushing mess. You have been warned.

What can I tell you about this book? I don't really plan on telling you much. If it is already on your radar then you have probably already caught a rave review. If you run in the circles I run in, then you already know someone that this book has affected, changed. This book made my goddamned eyes sparkle. Let me try to explain. I love books, I love them, but I read a ton of them and I think people that read this much, while maintainin
Sonja Arlow
4.5 stars

I was really smitten with The Summer that Melted Everything but now years later I can only remember snippets.

This second book, that has a toe in the origins of the first book, has vivid scenes that will stay imprinted on my mind for a long time.

This author has a knack for writing wonderful father figures, Autopsy Bliss in TSTME and now Landon Carpenter.

But unlike TSTME there is no magical realism, there is however wonderful stories that Landon weaves for his children that combines his
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Tiffany McDaniel is a novelist, poet, and visual artist born and raised in Ohio. She is the author of The Summer That Melted Everything and BETTY.

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Happy Women's History Month! One of the undisputedly good things about modern scholarship is that women’s history is finally getting its due....
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“Don’t let it happen to you, Betty. Don’t ever be afraid to be yourself. You don’t wanna live so long only to realize, you ain’t lived at all.” 7 likes
“ father had been born from the minds of writers. I believed the Great Creator had flown these writers on the backs of thunderbirds to the moon and told them to write me a father. Writers like Mary Shelley, who wrote my father to have a gothic understanding of the tenderness of all monsters. It was Agatha Christie who created the mystery within my father and Edgar Allan Poe who gave darkness to him in ways that lifted him to the flight of the raven. William Shakespeare wrote my father a Romeo heart at the same time Susan Fenimore Cooper composed him to have sympathy toward nature and a longing for paradise to be regained. Emily Dickinson shared her poet self so my father would know the most sacred text of mankind is in the way we do and do not rhyme, leaving John Steinbeck to gift my father a compass in his mind so he would always appreciate he was east of Eden and a little south of heaven. Not to be left out, Sophia Alice Callahan made sure there was a part of my father that would always remain a child of the forest, while Louisa May Alcott penned the loyalty and hope within his soul. It was Theodore Dreiser who was left the task of writing my father the destiny of being an American tragedy only after Shirley Jackson prepared my father for the horrors of that very thing.” 6 likes
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