NO ONE EVER ASKED by KATIE GANSHERT, reviewed by Rebecca Maney
"Be the change where you're at."
Anaya Jones is a new hire at a predominantly white upper class elementary school. Determined to make the best of a given opportunity, she struggles to push aside her own fears and misconceptions so that she can meet the needs of her students, whose parents are disgruntled about the forced integration of ethnically diverse students from a failed lower class school district. Anaya is black.
Jen Covington and her husband have just adopted a little girl from Liberia. Feeling overwhelmed with the complexities of instant parenthood, Jen fights feelings of despondency and inadequacy when Jubilee has a difficult time adjusting to her new life. Jen and Nick are white.
Camille Gray is an active member of her community, pretending that all is right in her world when nothing could be further from the truth. After her three children are thrust into racially tense circumstances as a result of regional integration, her responses vary from what she thinks she is "supposed" to say, to what she actually believes she needs to say.
All three women's lives converge in unexpected ways as normalcy is reconstructed along the path to mutual respect. "No one ever asked" their opinion in the beginning, but in the end, they find that the truth really can set them free. Read along as Katie Ganshert deftly navigates the shark infested waters of equality, diversity, and expectancy within the chapters of this deeply inspiring story.
BACK COVER BLURB:
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?
This novel is available in paperback, hardcover and digital Ebook
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*I received a copy of this novel from the author and publisher, with no obligation to review or provide a favorable review. The opinions stated are entirely my own.