Wow! This novel, based upon the author's own mother's life is just masterful and deserves a wide and appreciative audience.
Betty is growing up in southern Ohio in the '50s and '60s in a large family with a white mother and a Native American father.
Impoverished and living in a largely dysfunctional household, young Betty with her dark skin would be imprisoned in a harsh life of bullying and prejudice if not for her larger-than-life father and his fantastical stories that weave Native American lore and sheer fancy.
I can tell you that this book gave me a gut-check like no other. If you can read this and not have to reflect upon and re-examine your beliefs and institutionalized knowledge about race relations -all races - in our country, then (okay, I deleted my next two sentences because sometimes saying what you really think is just impolitic.)
I’ll leave you with these thoughts:
1)Did you know that the Nazis studied America’s laws affecting treatment of Blacks to formulate their own treatment of Jews - and that some of the committeemen actually thought our laws were more harsh than they’d need to be?!
2)Do you have a drop of German, Italian, Asian, Irish, Native American, etc. blood in your family tree? Do you know how low that would have made you in early America’s pecking order? The roots of our caste system are absurd, and this book shines a spotlight on the myriad ways in which we ridiculously perpetuate it, yes, especially with Black people, even when we purportedly ‘know better’.