Tuesday, July 24, 2018

No One Ever Asked by Katie Genshert ~ Book Review

The lives of three women intersect as an affluent school district is forced to allow students, mostly black, to be bussed from a neighboring poor school district after the school loses it's accreditation.  Anaya is a teacher who grew up in the poor district but has now been hired by the elementary school in the affluent district.  Camille is the wife of  an executive.  She's a stay at home mom and heavily involved in her children's schools.  Jen is new to the area.  After years of trying to have children, her and husband have finally adopted a little orphan girl from Kenya but the perfect picture of the happy little family she built for herself is somehow eluding her as she struggles to mother a child with trauma issues.

This story tackles the issues of racism, international adoption,  the illusion of perfect lives and marriages, perception and  sexual harassment and forgiveness.  It attempts to present in as sensitive and accurate a measure as is possible from a white author both the black and white experience in a school setting forced to come together.  It is well written and really made me think.  The story is based on a true situation where an affluent school was made to take on students bussed from a poorer district when they lost accreditation.  The author tries to round out the story by bringing in characters with different backgrounds, different view points and different current problems.  There is a lot of characters to keep track of but once you get onto them it flows well.  Because I am a Canadian residing in Alberta our school systems work a little differently so the story gave me a bit of insight into the American school system and their challenges in the area of districts and racism.  The character of Camille was most interesting to me because as she fights the bringing in of these students for what she perceives as very viable different reasons other than the color their skin, she and the others of the affluent school are forced to come face to face with what is really in their hearts.  It really made me think and search in my own heart.   Love when a story is able to do that.

I loved the approach the author took in having a shocking event occur in the beginning of the story and then rewinding a year to tell the stories of the characters and situations that culminate in that shocking event.  You are left with just enough information to get the jist of the event in the beginning but you don't know who was involved which keeps the pages turning as the situations come to the crisis point.  There was one situation within the story of one of the characters that I am still mulling over and wondering how I feel about the resolution of that.   I don't know what to say other than I'm torn at the wrap up of that particular thing without giving things away.  But this book for me was well worth the read and I would recommend it.

I gave it a 9.5/10


Deb said...

I am going to look for this book. Sounds like a good one. Thanks!

Faith said...

It likes another trip to the library for moi!! Sounds excellent

Michele Morin said...

This sounds like a great book to incorporate into a high school kid's reading life as well. Thanks for sharing great reads here!