A stunning, lyrical novel set in the rolling foothills of the Appalachians about a young girl and the family 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 white mother and a Cherokee father, Betty is the sixth of eight siblings. The world they inhabit in the rural town of Breathed, Ohio, is one of poverty and violence—both from outside the family and, devastatingly, from within. But despite the hardships 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 to which she bears witness, Betty discovers an escape: she begins to write.
Inspired by generations of her family, Tiffany McDaniel sets out to free the past by delivering this heartbreaking yet magical story—a remarkable novel that establishes her as one of the most important voices in American fiction.