I was sent this book through NetGalley to review – Thank you to WaterBrook & Multnomah for sending me a copy!
Title: No One Ever Asked
Author: Katie Ganshert
Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Women’s Fiction
Publisher: WaterBrook and Multnomah
Publication date: 3rd April 2018
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?
The synopsis of the book certainly intrigued me but I was definitely not prepared for the absolute ride that this book would take me on! I read the majority of it in one day…yup, a single day, I was so immersed in the storyline and characters that I honestly could not put it down.
- Each of the three main female characters – Camille, Jen and Anaya were so well developed, flawed and interesting. I was interested in each of their stories and how they all interlinked. It’s rare to have a book where there’s multiple perspectives and I really enjoy all of them, so Ganshert did a fantastic job on this aspect.
- The three women are brought together through the integration of students from the failing school district of South Fork – where the students are primarily black – and the prestigious district of Crystal Ridge which is predominantly white and middle class. The proposal and eventual integration of students causes heated debate and tension, which in turn makes the characters face their own prejudice and privilege.
- The book deals with a number of really important and relevant issues such as racism, social class divide, segregation, infidelity as well as adoption and more.The representation of these issues felt so current and like the author did a lot of research and was well educated whilst writing. I feel like Ganshert approached these issues head on and unapologetically, with a lot of integrity too which I really respect her for.
- The book also has a focus on family, in all it’s various shapes and sizes which is central. The bond between a mother and her children, between a sister and brother, even estranged parents and their children, there’s so much diversity in that regard that there’s something every reader will be able to connect to. There’s an emotional pull there that is undeniable.
- The climax of the novel – which is hinted at earlier in the novel but not explicitly revealed, was shocking and kept me gripped. As you read the story you feel the tension and momentum building, which then results in a strong ending. I think the story ends in a realistic way, which makes sense and is also satisfying.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book, I’ve not read any of Katie Gansherts other work but I’ll definitely be on the lookout as she is truly gifted. No One Ever Asked is a book I can definitely see myself re-reading and one I would really recommend to anyone seeking a powerful and thought provoking story.
★★★★★ – 5 star rating
Does No One Ever Asked sound like a book you would read? Do you enjoy fiction with a bigger picture or do you like books which provide an escape from reality? Would love to chat in the comments!
Until next time,