Audiobook Review: No One Ever Asked

25 Mar

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.

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?

Katie Ganshert was born and raised in the exciting state of Iowa, where she currently resides with her family. She likes to write things and consume large quantities of coffee and chocolate while she writes all the things. She’s won some awards. For the writing, not the consuming. Although the latter would be fun. You can learn more about Katie and these things she writes at her website http://www.katieganshert.com.

 

My Impressions:

If you want a book that will challenge your attitudes, convictions, and, yes, secret prejudices, then you will want to read No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert. Inspired by the real life state takeover of a Missouri school district and the ensuing uproar that followed, Ganshert’s novel is full of characters that will touch your heart, make you angry, and perhaps cause you to reexamine your own choices and beliefs. I found this novel not only to be a well-written and thoughtful look at the hidden and not so hidden middle America, but one that offers hope and healing in the face of anger, fear, and broken relationships. This one is a highly recommended read.

There are three main characters in No One Ever Asked. Camille epitomizes the oh-so put together wife and mother whose smugness about her perfect life is brought down in humbling ways. Anaya is an eager young woman of color who wants to make a difference in her own community, but feels she has sold out to teach in a majority white school district. Jennifer is a struggling new mother to an adoptive daughter whose past trauma and current cultural challenges make Jennifer feel disconnected to her daughter. All three women are presented in a realistic way — there’s no sugar coating of their inner turmoil. In fact, I loved the revelation of their very private thoughts. None are perfect, and I found some of their struggles hit close to home. Amidst the angst, Ganshert gives the reader glimpses of hope, and healing comes in unexpected ways. At the end of the book, I felt I was leaving friends. Specific to the audiobook — the reader had a great sense of timing and gave each woman (and other characters) a distinctive voice, not only in accent, but in tone as well.

No One Ever Asked was a book that will make you stop and think. It is also one that demands discussion. Grab some friends and read this book together. The ensuing conversation may just lead to growth for you and your friends as well.

Highly Recommended.

Great for Book Clubs.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(I purchased the audiobook from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

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