Challenging perceptions of discrimination and prejudice, this emotionally resonant drama for readers of Lisa Wingate and Jodi Picoult explores three different women navigating challenges in a changing school district—and in their lives.
WINNER OF THE CHRISTY AWARD®
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 Graythe wife of an executive, mother of three, long-standing PTA chairwoman and champion fundraiserfaced 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 Jonesthe 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?
|Publisher:||The Crown Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.49(w) x 8.16(h) x 1.06(d)|
About the Author
KATIE GANSHERT is the author of several novels and works of short fiction. She has won both the Christy and Carol Awards for her writing and was awarded the RT Reviews Reviewers Choice for her novel, The Art of Losing Yourself. Katie makes her home in eastern Iowa with her family.
Read an Excerpt
Wipers squeaked against the windshield, smearing raindrops across the glass. The rhythmic sound filled the car as Anaya Jones idled in the driveway. Her hands trembled like her great-grandfather’s. Even though he had died when she was in first grade, she would always remember the exaggerated way they shook at the dinner table whenever he used silverware.
She turned the key, and the wipers stopped at a thirty-degree angle. All that could be heard was the pitter-patter of rain as she sat behind the steering wheel. A satchel lay open on the passenger seat—the new one her mother had given her before her first day of student teaching. The flap was open, revealing a corner of the science curriculum manual stuffed inside and a sparkly picture a student had given her from art class. Silver glitter would probably speckle the bottom of her satchel in the weeks to come. It wouldn’t go away. And neither would this.
The shaking in her hands moved into her arms.
Anaya picked up the satchel, removed the half-empty cup of cold gas-station coffee from the cup holder, and stepped out into the cool rain. The screen door squealed on its hinges as she pulled it open. It took a good three tries before she could manage the lock.
Inside, the house was quiet.
It still smelled like last night’s dinner.
Auntie Trill slept on the sagging couch, four-year-old Abeo wedged between her and the backrest, tracking Anaya’s movements with wide-awake eyes. Her uncoordinated attempts with the house key must have woken him.
She placed her finger to her lips and tiptoed past him into her room, where she set the coffee and the satchel on her desk and pulled a men’s sweatshirt over her head. She sat on the edge of the bed—her body like wet cement as she pressed the sleeve to her nose and inhaled an achingly familiar scent—one that would forever be associated with regret.
What happened, Anaya?
Her heart thudded in response to the question.
It beat into the darkness like a jungle drum.
The front door opened.
“Our kids deserve to go to a school that’s not failing.” Mama’s voice carried into her bedroom. “And if they think they can turn us away without a fight, then they don’t know what a mother gonna do for her child.”
Anaya peeked through the crack of her bedroom door.
Mama had come home talking on the phone, her voice loud in the early morning silence. “We ain’t responsible for no tuition.”
With a moan, Auntie Trill raised up a listless arm and batted the air.
Mama pulled a face. One that clearly said, This ain’t your home. It wasn’t either. Auntie Trill’s apartment was being fumigated, so she and her youngest were staying for a couple of days.
“That’s exactly what I’m saying. They gotta follow the law.”
Abeo had popped his head up now. Anaya could see it from her spot in the doorway.
Mama rubbed the top of his head, gave some mm-hmms and some uh-huhs to whoever she was talking to, then said goodbye.
Auntie Trill sat up next to her son, her face lined with sleep, her head wrapped in a silk scarf. “You’re fighting awful hard to send your boy to a school filled with a bunch of rich white kids.”
“I don’t care if they’re pink with purple polka dots and richer than Oprah Winfrey. I’m not gonna stand by and watch my son fall through the cracks.” Mama handed a white paper bag to Abeo. By the look on his face, you’d think it was Granny’s homemade cinnamon rolls instead of stale pastries from a hospital cafeteria. “Darius needs to be challenged, and he needs to get away from them boys.”
“And away from his daddy’s school?”
“It’s not his school anymore, Trill.”
Grief came like a wave—sudden, engulfing.
She stepped back from the door, into the darkness of her room, just as Mama came inside. Her attention moved to the bed, which wasn’t rumpled with sleep, but neatly made. “Are you sick?”
Mama’s expression softened with knowing. Only she didn’t really know. “I didn’t see you yesterday.”
What an innocuous word. And yet, it hovered between them, bloated with all the emotion that came with it.
An anniversary not meant to be celebrated.
Mama stepped forward and wrapped Anaya in a hug. She smelled like hospital food and exhaustion. “You okay?”
No, she wanted to cry.
She wasn’t okay.
Something was seriously wrong.
What happened, Anaya?
The doorbell rang.
Mama put her hand on Anaya’s cheek, her brow furrowing. “Baby?”
“Aye, Anaya!” Auntie Trill called down the hallway. “Marcus is at the door.”
Her stomach turned to stone.
“Are you two fighting again, because he looks like…” Auntie Trill poked her head into Anaya’s bedroom. “Well, he looks a whole lot like you do.”
“I have to get to the salon. Can you watch Abeo for me?”
“I’m gonna change for work,” Mama said, giving Anaya’s arm a squeeze.
Anaya nodded, hating that Mama needed to go to another job. Hating the dull pain in her ankle that served as a reminder of all that had been lost. It hurt worse when it rained, and right then, as she shuffled robotically to the front door, the rain was falling harder, gathering in puddles around Anaya’s car.
Marcus stood on the front porch rolling a hat between his hands. When he looked up, his eyes looked as tortured as her soul. “I am so sorry.”
The phone buzzed in Jen Covington’s sweat-slicked palm, turning her pulse manic.
We’re getting off the plane.
Having read the text message over Jen’s shoulder, Jen’s best friend clutched her arm, and the two shared a breathless look—one that encompassed every prayer, every hope, every hard, impossible emotion felt in these last three years.
“We,” Leah whispered.
And just like that, a flood of tears welled in Jen’s eyes.
It was happening.
After all the loss and all the waiting and all the political red tape, after the horrible unknown and the fight of her life, Jen was finally going to be a mother.
Not just in theory. Not just on paper.
But in real, actual life.
A ball of emotion swelled in her throat—hot and thick. Adrenaline coursed through her veins, clamping down on her jaw, setting a tremble in her muscles. Ever since Nick told her the news over FaceTime two days ago, she had kept a piece of her heart locked away. Over the past two days—while Leah made phone calls and organized a meal train and brought over spring clothes that would fit a seven-year-old girl because all the clothes they bought in the beginning had been for a child much smaller—Jen braced herself for the other shoe to drop, because the other shoe always did. But now they were here. Nick’s text was the proof.
We’re getting off the plane.
In a cluster of celebration stood Leah’s husband and their two young children, friends from church, Jen’s in-laws, and her mother—her brimming-with-excitement, teary-eyed mother. Nobody said anything about the two who were missing. Jen refused to think of them and focused instead on the people who were here, holding balloons, brandishing handmade signs.
Welcome Home, Jubilee!
With Leah’s round, hard belly between them, she continued clutching Jen’s arm. She held on tight while Jen shifted her weight from one foot to the other, her breath shallow in her chest, her underarms clammy with sweat, her mind spinning with unformed thoughts. Nick and Jubilee had already gone through customs in Dulles. All they had to do now was walk through the jet bridge and the terminal.
Her eyes searched the crowd.
Leah stood on tiptoe, looking around at the travelers walking toward them. An elderly woman pulling a floral carry-on. An Asian couple and a little girl skipping between them with a Hello Kitty backpack jouncing around on her shoulders. A man in a wheelchair wearing a cannula and a Wake Forest baseball cap, being pushed by a gentleman with a build like a linebacker.
Suddenly, Leah’s grip tightened.
Because suddenly, there he was.
And there she was.
Hand in hand.
Nick caught Jen’s eye through the distance.
The cluster of family and friends around her shifted. They held up their signs and began to cheer.
The little girl lifted her head.
Nick pointed in their direction.
Leah let go of Jen’s arm and covered her mouth. And Jen, unable to hold her own weight, dropped to her knees.
Nick whispered something to the girl Jen had loved so desperately from afar these past three years. Jubilee hesitated for the smallest of seconds, and then she raced down the airport terminal. With one hand clutching the waist of her jeans, she ran straight into Jen’s waiting arms. Their bodies collided, knocking Jen back. But she didn’t fall. She absorbed the impact as Jubilee wrapped her skinny arms around Jen’s neck and her skinny legs around Jen’s waist. With a sob tearing loose from the deepest part of her soul, Jen stood and pressed the small girl against her.
The nightmare was over.
Her prayers had been answered.
Her daughter was home.
And Jen would never, ever let her go.
These were the words she whispered—over and over again. Jen poured them, with all the love in her heart, straight into her little girl’s ear.
Camille Gray placed her hands at her temples and lifted, watching in the mirror as the furrow between her eyebrows stretched and smoothed away. Now if only she could make her face stay like that.
“What are you doing?” Paige asked. She sat on the bathroom rug wearing her favorite cat pajamas, her freshly washed hair cascading in blond ringlets down her back. She’d paused from combing through her doll’s matching mane, an arrangement of American Girl outfits and accessories on the floor all around her.
“I’m traveling back in time, to a land before wrinkles.” Camille leaned closer to the mirror. She didn’t think she’d spent her life furrowing her brow, and yet, at forty-three, the line had etched itself into her skin. She released her face. The furrow sprang back into place. “Your mother’s getting old.”
“Not old, Mommy. Wise,” Paige chirped.
Camille chuckled. Like her, Paige had a long memory. At kindergarten roundup—over two years ago now—when Paige kept pointing out the fact that Camille was the oldest mommy there, Camille had jokingly insisted that she wasn’t the oldest; she was the wisest.
Her daughter uncrossed her legs and came to the vanity, then placed her hands on the countertop and lifted herself up so that her bare feet dangled above the tiled floor. “Your dress is pretty.”
“Thank you, sweetheart.”
“Your earrings are simply beautiful.”
Camille smiled down at her, uncapping her lipstick. Paige was clearly angling for something.
“Would you like to wear my tiara?”
“That might be overdoing it a little, don’t you think?” Camille leaned close to the mirror again so she wouldn’t smudge.
A knock sounded on the door behind them.
She spotted her husband in the mirror’s reflection and did a double take. She’d been doing that a lot lately. Two-and-a-half months ago, they had celebrated Neil’s forty-seventh birthday. When he’d caught sight of the picture Camille snapped of him blowing out the candles in his cookie cake, he asked with legitimate horror, “Am I really that bald?”
It was a bad angle.
But the next day he joined a CrossFit gym and turned into one of those people they used to make fun of. He even bought a shirt with one of those CrossFit jokes only people in CrossFit could understand. Neil dove in as if exercise and a Paleo Diet might bring his thick hair back. It didn’t. It did, however, bring his college body back—the one he had when he and Camille first met and he was on a rowing scholarship at Brown. The transformation happened fast, as if the extra pounds he’d been carrying around his middle for the past ten years had been nothing more than a new style he’d decided to try on for a while—an unfortunate accessory he thought looked good but never suited him to begin with.
“You ready yet?” he asked, his expression set in mild irritation.
“I just have to slip on my shoes.” She rubbed her lips together, then dropped the lipstick into her bag and zipped it shut, the skin around her mouth tightening. It was hard not to feel irritated with his irritation. Yes, she’d promised not to get caught up at this afternoon’s meeting, but it wasn’t her fault it went longer than planned. Kathleen was still distressed over the locker-room incident, and Rebecca Yates had chosen the very end of the meeting to make her surprise announcement. It would have been rude for Camille to leave without joining in the celebration.
And yes, maybe she was still a tad annoyed with Neil’s after-CrossFit comment early this morning—something he said in passing on his way to the shower, as if he were commenting on something as innocent as the weather.
I’m really sick of the rain.
Only Neil didn’t say he was sick of the rain. Supposedly, he was sick of his job—a career they’d built their entire lifestyle around. Could he really blame her for the hint of snark that came with her reply?
“I’m really sick of Taylor’s attitude. Should we quit them both?”
Camille slipped her feet into a pair of nude high heels and hurried past the piano room, out to the kitchen, where Austin arranged dominoes on the island countertop, standing them at attention in an intricate design.
“Ooh! Can I knock it over?” Paige asked, climbing onto one of the stools, bumping the island as she did so.
“Paige!” Austin barked.
“Move back a little, honey,” Camille said.
“But I’m not touching anything.”
“You just ran into the counter, and the dominoes are on the counter. It’s called a chain reaction, Paige, and it doesn’t have to start with one of these.” Austin picked up another domino and set it in place with laser focus.
“Camille.” Neil pointed to his watch. “Our reservation was at seven.”
She grabbed her purse and looked into the living room, where their eldest sat wedged in the corner of the couch, one long, lean leg crossed and wrapped around the other as she texted into her phone.
“Taylor,” Camille said.
Taylor looked up—impossibly young, perpetually annoyed.
“Make sure your sister is in bed no later than eight. I don’t want her getting sick again.”
Paige scrambled off the stool, bumping the island all over again.
Austin yelped and held up his hands as if doing so would stop the dominoes from wobbling.
“But Mom, I really, really want to watch The Wizard of Oz.”
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
No One Ever Asked was an intense and extremely thought-provoking novel that authentically dealt with issues prevalent in society today, such as struggles with adoption, racism, classism, teen shootings, and sexual harassment. The storylines followed three different women as their lives intersected through their various levels of involvement in the affluent Crystal Ridge community and school district. The author was not afraid to make her readers uncomfortable in a good way discussing topics that are relevant and divisive in society today. I would recommend this book to others! I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook & Multnomah through NetGalley and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine.
When the South Fork school district loses its accreditation, the school district has to provide solutions--one of which is busing students to the Crystal Ridge district, a top-tier district in an affluent community. Camille Gray, PTA supermom in Crystal Ridge, is worried about how having students with low academic performance and troubled backgrounds will affect her three kids and the other kids in the Crystal Ridge district--but she insists it's not about race. At the same time, her marriage of twenty-plus years is falling apart. All Camille wants is what's best for her family. Jen Covington, who has recently adopted a daughter from Africa, wants to make sure her daughter has a diverse class and despite living in the Crystal Ridge district is considering enrolling her daughter in South Fork. When South Fork kids are allowed to enroll in Crystal Ridge, Jen sends Jubilee to a Crystal Ridge school, but just getting her daughter a black teacher isn't enough to help her navigate the ins and outs of being a new mom to a daughter who is different, and taking a job as the high school nurse doesn't fill that gap in her heart that she thought being a mom would fill. Anaya Jones wanted to follow in her father's footsteps and teach at South Fork, but with the district a mess, she accepts a position teaching second grade and coaching high school track in the Crystal Ridge district., knowing all the while that parents like Camille Gray don't want her people--including her high school age brother--in their district. As their lives intersect, all three women will come to see that they have much to learn about life and about each other. DANG! This is the first book I've read by Kaite Ganshert and it blew me away. This book is so thought-provoking and heartwrenching. I loved seeing how each woman made good and bad choices; they just felt so real and so very human. I loved the message that they (and others) are more than just one bad choice and that learning and changing are possible. This book serves as a great reminder that we need to be really careful about judging people and situations because there are usually so many more factors and details than we realize. I read this by myself but I will definitely be recommending it to my book club because this is the sort of book you definitely need to talk about with others. This is one of my picks for the best of 2018. I read an ARC via #NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
I loved No One Ever Asked because it is packed with plot! You all know how much I need plot in a book, and this book was everything I always look for in a book. It had great, diverse characters, and things happened to them throughout the whole book. It is a modern story about race in America – basically about desegregation of a school district. When a primarily black school is graded as failing, the students from that school are given the option to be bussed to a primarily white suburban school. The community is outraged. They don’t want their kids exposed to potentially dangerous youth. It is intense and true…and sad, but also hopeful. The story follows three characters. A white mother of three with kids in the elementary, middle, and high schools. A young black teacher who had hoped to teach in the failing school district but ends up teaching 2nd grade in the rich elementary school. And a white mother of an adopted, black girl from Africa. The book is a little slow at the start as all three perspectives are introduced, but then things pick up quickly and are pretty intense for the remainder of the book. This book would be terrific for book club discussion. There are many other issues beyond the racial aspect that would make for great conversation. I wish I’d read this book with other people. It’s a powerful story. http://opinionatedbooklover.com/review-no-one-ever-asked-by-katie-ganshert/
Katie is an excellent author. If you have never read anything by her I highly recommend you do. She touches on tough topics and dives deep into the heart of humanity. This newest book is no exception. There were parts that made me chuckle as I rode in the car with Camille and her sixteen-year-old daughter. I wondered if Katie had been in the car with me and my daughter and that is why she could write the tension so realistically. But that is not the point of this story. There are so many prejudices we all still carry and this book takes a raw, honest look at that. These women’s lives are messy, as are ours. I wondered how in the world this could get cleaned up. I loved this book and couldn’t wait to return to it. I highly recommend it. A copy of this book was given to me through Netgalley.com. All opinions are my own.
In all honesty, I was hesitant about reading “No One Ever Asked“. Katie Ganshert is very vocal about her views on racism and unfortunately, I disagree with quite a bit of them. So when I learned that this was going to be the topic for this novel, I was skeptical. I’m a huge fan of the authors’ other books so I decided it was time to give this one a try and see how she handles the topic. It exceeded my expectations! In fact, this is a keeper for my bookshelf. This is a book that needs to be read and talked about with everyone. It’s the perfect novel for book clubs to get those important conversations going. If we’re going to fight for equality, then we need to work together to make that happen. The book is told through three different women’s points of views, all going through different things. They all have different opinions and it was neat watching how they all connected. They are raw, vulnerable, transparent, and realistic. Each of their stories is an emotional rollercoaster that will have readers crying, laughing, cheering them on, or getting mad. This isn’t just a story about racism, but a journey of grace, mercy, redemption, and forgiveness. It’s a story about how we treat one another with love and kindness. It’s a story that will stick with you long after the book has ended. Overall, I enjoyed this. Highly recommended! Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
This was an amazing book that will stay with me for a long time. Three very different women "put all their eggs in one basket," and then found that basket knocked out of their hands. Marriage, motherhood, competitive running - all noble occupations, and none of them as easy/permanent/satisfying as previously thought. These realizations come in the midst of a community examining their attitudes on race and economic justice, and suddenly the most carefully guarded hearts are laid bare. I love the growth and transparency that comes to Camille, Jen, and Anaya in this story. As I personally have found in other aspects of my life, "...her family had benefited from something she had diametrically opposed, from something she had absolutely feared." It's interesting that the title, "No one ever asked," is spoken by two very different women at the beginning and end of this tale. Or are they really so different at all? That's the crux of this book...clearly not an easy one to read OR write. I am grateful to Ganshert for bringing her gifts and experiences to this issue!
This brilliant book ranks as the best book I've read in months! Katie Ganshert births a marvelous group of characters. Each one vital to the depth of emotions that run through a community when forced to integrate two school districts. Racism pitted against living out one's faith and beliefs caused this reader to search my own heart and mind. The players all have a voice revealing the angst behind their actions. The parents, teachers, and students affected, create dramatic statements. What would you do in their situations? This timely and delicate subject makes No One Ever Asked a must read. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. 1 like
Having taught in North Carolina in the late 1960's during the middle of desegregation, I found this book very interesting. I taught in an all black school where the only integration that had taken place was the teaching staff. It was close to a military base and over half the teachers were military wives who would leave as soon as their husbands were transferred which meant some classes might have 2 or 3 teachers in the same year. My husband was discharged from the service in March, but we had made a commitment that I would complete the school year with my class. I later taught in Texas at the beginning of enforced desegregation where children were bussed to different schools in order to equalize ethnic ratios. Having lived through this, I feel that Ganshert definitely did her research and was accurate in her portrayal of the happenings during this time period. She navigated well between the turmoil, prejudices, and discrimination that took place then and continues now. She challenges the readers thinking as she follows the three main women characters through the happenings in their area as one lower income school district is closed when it loses its accreditation and another wealthy district must absorb many of its students. Each of the women grows in their understanding of their own prejudices and beliefs. This book deals with hot button topics that are still a brick wall for many people today. Ganshert stepped out of her comfort zone and in so doing made me consider my own thinking. This book made my 2018 favorites list. **I received a complimentary copy of this book from Random House through NetGalley. Opinions are mine alone. I was not compensated for this review.
No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert My one main regret about this novel is that I read a digital copy which I cannot share, because this is definitely a book to recommend and pass along to reading friends. I think a paperback copy to loan out will find a permanent place on my book shelf. Katie Ganshert details the lives of three different women in a school district. Jen, an adoptive mother of a girl from an African country, Camille, an active mom of three children, and Anaya, an African American who is a first year teacher in an affluent school district. The author portrays the struggles they share: a challenged marriage, difficulties in adoption, racism, diabetes and even sexual harassment. Ganshert weaves a complex, multi-layered tale that mirrors real life problems. Her characters are real and relatable. By the end of the book, each character experiences growth and hope. My one disappointment was that although the women would have claimed to be believers, Christianity didn’t seem to impact their behavior very much. The church or the Bible didn’t seem very relevant to the answers to the problems they faced despite having Bible study groups pray or verses occasionally quoted. And maybe this is part of the problem: a vibrant faith isn’t impacting problems in society today. Katie Ganshert brings these challenges to the forefront in a powerful way by using fiction. It is my hope that this book will stimulate conversation and change. She has given me much to ponder. I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this, my honest review.
"Be the change where you're at." It's hard to write a review for No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert. I went back and reread a few key moments in order to settle my heart on what I thought. Out right, I can tell you, Katie Ganshert is an amazing writer. Her words dig deep, and penetrates through to our hearts, no matter the subject. She did so without asking, and as is with No One Ever Asked, it's a strong emotion, or rather a series of emotions. There's a lot on our minds when one concludes this story. You see, No One Ever Asked may be a story, but the relevance of the underlying messages of disparity, of facing the hard of many areas to this day, and of fear on so many levels, are more apparent than one thinks. The author is not afraid to tackle some very tough topics including race, adoption, marriage, harassment in more ways than just sexual, but it's the way it's interwoven through our characters' lives, presenting readers a work of fiction that challenges us, but also encourages us to do right. And by doing right, it's however the reader reads into it. There's profound insight, allowing us to ask the right and appropriate questions, and that's personal and awakening at times. So yes, No One Ever Asked makes for one compelling read, but possibly more so for the effect it will have on the reader. This review first appeared on Just Commonly blog. Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion. Please double check with release copy when sharing book quotes from this review, as it was taken from an uncorrected proof copy.
If you were asked if you are a racist or if you are prejudiced toward people of a different skin color, what would you say? I would venture a guess that most people would strongly declare that they love all people and would deny any prejudice toward others. I once had a professor who would declare he was not prejudiced but clearly demonstrated a prejudice toward others that he considered to be prejudiced. I suppose that may sound like a convoluted statement but the point is we often have preconceived ideas about people of other people groups that we have never thoroughly examined. In this well-written story by Katie Ganshert that was inspired by true events, the author causes the readers to study their own lives through the eyes of the characters in the book. If you are a Christian who attends church on a regular basis, take a look around the sanctuary where you worship on Sunday morning and ask yourself if people of other races are welcomed with open arms to your worship services and other activities. Do you welcome them? Now move outside the church and look at your community, particularly the schools which are a focal point of this story. Examples of racism are prevalent throughout the book. As you read and take a look around, how many of these have you seen acted out just recently? More to the point, how many of the attitudes have you harbored in your own heart and mind? Just in the last few days I read that the devil does not try to tempt us to commit big ugly sins but rather he tempts us with small things that we hardly even stop to question. But the catch is that they keep building up to bigger things over time if we fail to put a stop to them. Racist attitudes are much like that. We fail to even recognize them as sin when they first assail us because we have seen other good Christians do and say them without considering the impact on others. Take a closer look and truly analyze your attitudes. I believe this is a story that can help bring positive change if enough people read it and grasp the message the author is conveying. I encourage you to take that step.
No One Ever Asked is a thought-provoking novel! Ganshert writes about true events and does so with empathy and emotion. Each of the women in the story shares their own point of view as they struggle with challenges in their home and in their community. No One Ever Asked explores human complexities in a way that is real and relevant, and the drama that unfolds is heartfelt and impactful. I received a complimentary copy of this book. No review was required, and all thoughts expressed are my own.
Fresh Plot. Deeply wounded characters. Katie Ganshert has hit another novel out of the park! No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert was absolutely amazing. The characters were so well developed they were actually four-dimensional! Katie did a wonderful job threading the characters together. I loved how the characters saw the others as having a more solid life than themselves, yet the others were far from perfect as they were all dealing with big issues. The plot was so current to the times we are living in. At first I thought something like that could never happen in today's world, but once I put thought to the matter I realized that unfortunately, these events could and can happen. I especially liked the Jubilee subplot as I'm not familiar with adoption of a child other than an infant. So the issues Jubilee and her parents had over the course of the book was eye opening to me. I highly, highly recommend No One Ever Asked, grab your copy today!
What I Loved: From page one, you’re pulled into this real-to-life story. Everything from the situations to the characters to Ganshert’s writing style came across as real. It’s almost hard to explain. But there’s something about her writing style that makes you feel like you’re coming home. It’s relatable. And there’s such a natural atmosphere on the page that is both enchanting and consuming. I don’t believe this is a novel that you can pick up and read in one sitting. Or at least it wasn’t for me. It was something more solemn. Something that deserved more time and contemplation as you read. Oh, it’s entertaining to be sure. But it’s not the sort of fast-paced entertainment that leaves you feeling light and airy. It’s the kind that sticks to your ribs and changes you from the inside. Ganshert has done an amazing job and I think this will be a lasting favorite for me. Rating and Recommendation: I highly recommend it to those who enjoy Christian Contemporary Fiction or those who are looking for fiction that deals with real-life issues. I’m giving it 5 stars. ~ I received a copy from the publisher. I was not compensated for my review. All thoughts are my own.
No One Ever Asked is a book that examines prejudice and discrimination through several families in a school district. Each families faced their own struggles with various problems. This book makes you analyze yourself and how you treat others. Another important point Ms. Ganshert makes in the book is the perception you have of others. What we believe to be true of a person (and family), may not be what is actually true. Everyone faces difficult situations or troubles. This was a fantastic book to read and very eye-opening to examining my own thoughts and how I categorize others. The book also provided you with different perspectives of different types of characters throughout. For educators and parents everywhere, I would say that you should read this book. There are so many important points this book made about how we view others, how things can escalate, and the struggles we each face. As I read, I did not want to put the book down. I highly recommend this book for anyone!!! Ms. Ganshert does a fantastic job with this book!!! ***I was given a free electronic copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review. This is my honest opinion. Even though I received this copy free, I have purchased her books before.
Wow! Talk about a page turner. It took me a bit to get into this book, but once I got in, I was hooked. The story line seems relatively simple but very timely...a poor school district is forced to close and students are sent to a nearby affluent school district. As you can imagine, race is a huge issue, for both parents and teachers. Katie Ganshert weaves this story of the lives of three different women together in an unforgettable story of discovery, pain and acceptance. It is a must read in this day and age, particularly knowing it is inspired by current events. You can envision this story unfolding around you
Community. Compassion. Empathy. Love. This world needs more yet can these things truly be achieved without understanding (or at the very least, a desire to understand)? I think not. No One Ever Asked glows with rich, multi-layered authenticity and diversity. I found myself relating to each of the three main characters in at least a small way yet also learning from each struggle, situation, and background. We don't understand one another's struggles because we don't ask. We assume. We label. We circle the wagons when we should be opening doors and tearing down walls, ceilings, and stereotypes. I highly recommend this story to everyone! I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review. The opinions expressed are my own.
Everyone in America needs to read this book. Not just because it was exceedingly well written, with short chapters that kept you turning the pages. Not because of the Twitter conversations, emails, online chats, or news articles interspersed throughout the book, which brought in more perspective to the story. Not because of the characters, so well written that you wanted to weep with them in their distress. Not because of the surprises that you never expected in the plot. Everyone needs to read this story because every person will find himself or herself in this story. And it's not pretty. This is a story about racism, which may or may not be reflected in how you act, and it may not be reflected in the words you speak. But it may be in your thoughts and in your heart, even if you don't recognize it. Read this book. It is convicting. I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, Waterbrook, for review purposes. The thoughts expressed here are my own.
5 stars- What can I say? This was such an amazing book on so many levels. Katie’s heart is clearly in this story. I have heard many things about this book from Katie herself (via her online newsletter and on Facebook) and others and knew it would be an unforgettable story. Living in St. Louis, where the events this story is based on happened, has made the story hit home for me. You are instantly drawn into the lives of Camille, Anaya and Jen. Three very different women that ultimately discover that they share the common thread of loving and protecting their families and their eye-opening journeys along the way. This book will really make you stop and think about how you view everyday life and the preconceived ideas of others you may have never even realized you had. This story is real and not sugar coated. I think anyone who reads it will be able to relate to one or more of the characters. I think Katie wrote this story to make the reader uncomfortable- uncomfortable with the status quo, uncomfortable with the realization that racism is just as alive today as it ever was, even if we don’t want to see it. Katie intertwined the stories of the three main characters so seamlessly, yet each story was unique. I especially loved Jen and Jubilee’s story. I found myself tearing up numerous times as I read about her struggles as a new mom and appreciated the honesty of her character in her journey with her adopted daughter Jubilee. Camille was very relatable as a character. It is so easy to live your life with blinders on and just accept life for what it is inside your bubble. It is very easy to think life is one way until something happens to challenge your lifetime of thinking and make you take a long hard look at yourself. It was intriguing to find out what Camille would choose to do with these revelations. And not only her, but Anaya and Jen as well. After reading this book I would like to learn more about the events that took place in the St. Louis area that inspired this story and explore ways that I can challenge myself to love all people the way that God calls us to as Christians. You will want to share this story with your friends and it will invoke important conversations. I highly recommend this book and will definitely be passing it on to as many friends as I can. I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.
Where to begin? I've only read a handful of Ganshert's books; however, with No One Ever Asked, she has captured my attention. In this latest novel from Ganshert, she addresses head-on with genuine tenacity and boldness current and relevant subjects such as the race war, sexual harassment, interracial adoption, and family/community relationships. I appreciated the depth from which Ganshert wrote this story. Readers get a multi-dimensional look from every angle possible through the eyes of genuine, real, and believable characters. Ganshert writes in such a way that as a reader I felt the gamut of emotions possible and was challenged to think through some of my own prejudices. This book is raw and will challenge you. And that's a good thing! *I received a complimentary Advanced Reader's copy of the book. All opinions stated here are my own.
WHY NOT ASK? No One Ever Asked is not a book to be taken lightly. It is a book that implores you to read it carefully, know the characters intimately, become a part of the community and allow yourself to PARTICIPATE in the story. Believe me - your life will be changed because of the participation! This novel is the story of an impoverished Missouri school district that loses its accreditation and their students are being bussed to the affluent community of Crystal Ridge. Three women’s lives converge: Camille Gray, Jen Covington and Anaya Jones and each struggles with deep, dark secrets in their lives - some they are aware of, some they’ve tried to bury and some that are brand new. If they only could get beyond their own personal feelings towards each other and their situations, they could provide each other with an invaluable support system. It takes an unprecedented act to wake people up. What each of them discovers is an ugly portrait of reality around them. Reality in their community, reality in their families and reality in each of their own lives. Yet, they still cannot completely give voice to the truth about what they’re hiding. How did things get this bad? Because NO ONE EVER ASKED! I was provided an ARC of this by Waterbrook&Multnomah. The opinions expressed here are completely my own and without influence.+ +
Thought provoking, emotional roller coaster that leaves your heart bleeding for what just isn’t a story but is truth that is still in existence. Not an easy read as it deals with profound subjects in a raw and emotional way. Issues that we may not want to face but that leave us changed for the better when completed. You may feel raw and open when done, but well worth your time. Engaging characters that you feel pulled into their lives and will be thinking about for days afterwards. Very well written with empathy and faith woven throughout. This is a book that will be on my top 10 list for 2018 and highly recommend as a must read. I find no words to truly describe how this book left me feeling. I received a complimentary copy from the author/publisher. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.
I have been a fan of Katie Ganshert's books since her first novel was released. This book is a wonderful read in light of the culture in today's society. She does an amazing job of getting in the heads of the characters coming from such different points of view. All the while, I found myself questioning how I look at the world. What a wonderful way to bring to light some of the challenging issues facing our world. I would highly recommend this book! It is a book that will challenge you and leave you thinking and questioning long after the last page is turned. I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to leave a positive review. All thoughts expressed are my own.
I agree with so many that has said this book is deep and heavy. The raw emotions of each character was felt in the heart. This is only my second book I have read of Katie Ganshert’s but I will continue to read some of her other books because I love her writing. I like for a book to make me think and point out things to me that are not thought of sometimes. I loved how honest each lady was and how worried Jen felt not caring enough for Jubilee but yet was honest with her own self. I loved that Anaya was so scared at times and that she loved her brother so much she would have given her life for him. Also how she tried to hold her feelings down for the injustice she saw everywhere even though it included her lots of time. I loved how Camille tried holding everything together even though everything in her life was falling apart. Oh I hope I haven’t told too much but everyone needs to get this book and let it make you think through some of this. If you like “hard to think” about subjects and it done tastefully and carefully you need this book. I received a copy of this book from Penguin Random House and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.