Book Review – Betty by Tiffany McDaniel

Genre: Fiction

Rating: 5 / 5

Note: There are NO spoilers in this review. When discussing in the comments, please provide a spoiler warning if needed. 

A simple review wasn’t enough for this one. Betty needs her own playlist, which you can find here on my Spotify. 

Reading the novel Betty by Tiffany McDaniel is akin to undergoing a spiritual and emotional awakening. The stories woven into these pages are mythical and terrifying but somehow also beautiful and uplifting. You watch a young girl “come of age against the knife” but somehow instead of being broken into pieces, she’s built stronger with each turned page. 

Every time I was pulled away from reading Betty’s story, I could not stop thinking about her in our moments apart. Even now, after finishing the novel, I think about where she is now, how did the rest of her life play out? I want to know her. I want to surround myself with people like her. But, most of all, I want to be more like her. 

“What it boiled down to was a frenzied hope that there was more to life than the reality around us. Only then could we claim a destiny we did not believe was our own.”

Betty by Tiffany McDaniel, page 133

This journey captures the feminine experience, being at the disposal of the men and the world around you, with lyrical and heart wrenching prose. However, it still allows space for men who lift women up. The balancing act between true evil and goodness, and everything in between, is so spectacularly done when describing the various men (and women) Betty encounters; I’m not sure any author could begin to compare. I felt Betty’s pain. I felt her mother’s pain. I felt her sisters’ pain. And I wanted to hold them, and tell them everything would be okay. In them, I saw my friends, sisters, mom, and every woman I have had the pleasure of knowing who have experienced pain throughout their lives. 

Tiffany McDaniel does not stray away from the violence inflicted on women throughout our lives from family members and friends and men in positions of power. She shows that it’s not the color of your skin or the money you make or the profession you have chosen – at the end of the day you are either good or evil and there is no inbetween. You either have a soul nestled in the bridge of your nose or you don’t have one at all. 

I cannot recommend this novel enough. Go, now, to your closest (local) bookstore and pick this one up. Clear your schedule and grab a box of tissues. You have not read poetry until you have experienced the words written on these pages and the stories they tell. 

Buy Betty here on Amazon (or at your local bookstore)!

Have you read Betty? Let’s talk about it. Leave a comment or send me a message letting me know what you thought of the novel.

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