Thursday, July 12, 2018

No One Ever Asked

GIVEAWAY
GANSHERT, KATIE
NO ONE EVER ASKED

Three families. Two school districts. A dozen miles between them, but worlds apart.

When an impoverished Missouri school district loses its accreditation, the nearby affluent community of Crystal Ridge has no choice but to open its doors to bussed students. Soon the lives of three very different women converge: Camille Gray, long-standing PTA chairwoman and champion fund-raiser, faced with a rattling discovery that threatens to tear apart her picture-perfect world; Jen Covington, a career nurse whose painful journey to motherhood finally results in a happily-ever-after, though not the one she anticipated; and Anaya Jones, the first woman in her family to graduate college and a brand new teacher at Crystal Ridge's top elementary school, who is unprepared for the minefield she is stepping into. As tensions rise, Camille, Jen and Anaya will fiercely protect their loved ones -- but at what cost?

Inspired by real world events, No One Ever Asked is a riveting tale about the way we see one another, the lies we tell ourselves, the questions and stories that go unexplored, and the tragedies that result from our blindness.

My Review:

Sometimes a book comes along that pretty much discombobulates my reviewing capabilities and No One Ever Asked is just such a book. Powerful. Compelling. Uncomfortable. Frustrating....and hopeful. But it's a hard read. My heart still hurts. My head is still spinning. And my emotions are all over the place. In short, I'm still rattled so this review will be too. Fair warning!

Ganshert tells the story from three points of view. Women who come from diverse backgrounds, each engaged in their own personal battles with some pretty heavy issues when a political decision unexpectedly throws them together.There's picture-perfect PTA mom Camille Gray who appears to have it all; Jen Covington, who has yearned to be a mother in the face of the impossible and now that she is, nothing is going as planned; and Anaya Jones, the first African-American teacher to be employed at Crystal Ridge's top elementary school. Their stories are real and raw and not always pretty.

Most everyone will agree that blatant racism is ugly but what Ganshert tackles in this impactful novel is the subtle nuances of racial tension that often go unnoticed -- even within ourselves. There are two big takeaways for me at this point, though I'm still mulling it over -- this is the kind of book that doesn't leave you even though you've reached 'the end' -- so I'm sure there'll be more.

The first thing that struck me was how each woman had a preconceived idea of who the others were and what their life was like -- both good and bad. And that coloured their impressions and reactions. I mean, seriously, how often have I done that in my own life? So sure that 'her' life was better than mine or 'she' didn't have any real challenges or I am so in awe of 'her' because she has it all together I could never measure up.

The second takeaway that I am digging deep into is so simple and yet it's not -- listen. Seriously -- do I actually hear with my whole being -- heart, mind and soul -- when someone is speaking about something important to them? Or am I so busy formulating a rebuttal that I haven't let their words seep into my being so I can truly empathize? Especially if what they are saying contradicts what I feel. Challenging stuff, right?

Oh -- and a third takeaway that just struck me now -- see I told you there would be more! Just because I don't understand somebody's story doesn't mean it isn't valid. If I limited my world view solely to  my experiences, well, that would make for a pretty short-sighted view, wouldn't it? I need to  trust other people's stories so that I can expand my understanding and open my heart to the kind of all-encompassing love talked about in the bible -- "Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear." (1 John 1:18)

Phew -- lots to ponder over at the conclusion of this read. Especially thankful for the no-holds-barred discussion questions the author has provided at the end of the book. No One Ever Asked would be my top pick for a book club selection this year!

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of No One Ever Asked, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add your email to your comment, remember to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easy to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday July 15 2018. Offer open to International Readers.

42 comments:

  1. I am intrigued, I am interested, and I am anxious to read this book. mauback55 at gmail dot com

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    1. I hope you get to read it soon. Good luck, Melanie.

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  2. I love books like this. cheetahthecat1986ATgmailDOTcom

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    1. So do I -- something out of the norm and makes you think. Good luck, Kim.

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  3. Wow, your thoughts on it are very convicting in themselves. I think it is what we all do without even realizing it. We only know our own stories and it is hard to be fully understanding and empathetic to those with different stories! Thanks for your thoughts!
    lattebooksAThotmailDOTcom

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    1. Yes!!! And I love exploring all this through fiction. And this book just begs to be talked about. Good luck, Susan.

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  4. I love meaty books and this one is on my to-read list. Count me in, Kav! :)

    ckbarker at gmail dot com

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    1. This one is definitely for you then, Cheryl. Good luck!

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  5. I read the small sample of this and was hooked. I can't wait to read the rest of the story.. sounds like it's a deep one though, so I better wait until the kiddo is back in school so I can focus. ;)

    ladepooh AT hotmail dot com

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    1. Yes -- you'll be so engrossed you'll forget the kiddo isn't in school! lol Good luck, Lea.

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  6. I've only read Life After and it had the power to stun me like this book did to you. Books that have deeper meanings and make you ponder your own thinking, life, etc are ones that tend to not only break you, but change you! I'm in for No One Ever Asked.

    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. P.S. I tried to get on the influencer list for this when the call came out. I was sure I would get "the call" because I was on it for Life After...but to no avail. So you know it's already high on my must-read list!

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    2. I loved Life After too. Have you read her contemporary romances? They are amazing. And she has a YA series as well which I haven't read but intend to. Good luck, Trixi.

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  7. This sounds so intriguing. Thanks for doing the giveaway!

    rosebudsinjune at gmail dot com

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    1. You're welcome, Deborah. Good luck!

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  8. This sounds like something that could have happened in St. Louis. I lived there for twenty years. Sounds good! paulams49ATsbcglobalDOTnet

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    1. The author does say it is inspired by world events. Good luck, Paula.

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  9. I've heard lots about this book and since it's by Katie Ganshert, I certainly want to read it. All of the books I've read by her have been quite thought-provoking. She's an excellent author.
    pmkellogg56[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. She is an amazing author who pours her heart into her work. Love her! Good luck, Pam.

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  10. I have been anxiously waiting to read this book! Would love to win a copy! Thanks for the opportunity!
    jtabalk(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. You're welcome, Tiffany. Good luck!

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  11. Love Katie's books! Thanks for the giveaway!
    kathrynlvossATgmailDOTcom

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  12. Fabulous story that makes you think deeply. Blessings my book twin.

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    1. Ha! Twinsies again! Glad you enjoyed it too.

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  13. I've been wanting to read this one. KAV, thank you for the great review!

    psalm103and138atgmaildotcom

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  14. I heard such good things about this book!
    Thanks for the chance!

    samanthabis23 at gmail dot com

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    1. They are all true! Good luck, Samantha!

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  15. Great review! Please enter me. Thanks.

    sweetdarknectar at gmail dot com

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  16. Interesting title would compel me to open the cover and dig into these alive lived lives. Much to think about in someone else's footprints... Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

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    1. Yes -- and we can all do with a fresh perspective. Good luck, Kathleen.

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  17. Women's fiction has never been a go-to genre for me, but lately I've been reading more and more. Maybe it's my age and where I am in life, so more applies? Who knows, but this book was on my to-read list as soon as I saw it. This one sounds like I might need to make it a buddy-read for accountability and hand-holding. I do that sometimes when a book sounds like it might devastate me at some point. 😉 Thanks, Kav.

    tlhcoupon(at)Hotmail(dot)com

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    1. I'll hold your hand, Terrill! lol I'm not a huge women's fiction reader either but occasionally something incredible comes along that's just to good to miss. Good luck!

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    2. I'm gonna take you up on that! Expect lots of emails after I crack it open. 😉

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  18. Wonderful review, Kav! I love Katie's writing, and I've had my eye on this book for quite a while. It's on my wish list, and it would be awesome to win a copy. Thanks for the chance!

    whthomas13 at yahoo dot com

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    1. It should be on everybody's wishlist imho. Good luck, Winnie.

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  19. Katie always writes such thought provoking books that you have to just digest for a while after you finisj. I have been eagerly awaiting this one to come out. I also love how authentic Katie comes across on her social media too! Thanks for the chance to win this inspiring novel Kav.

    LLWALTZ [at] gmail [dot] com

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    1. Exactly -- even her contemporary romances are like that. Love that kind of book! Good luck, Laura.

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  20. This sounds like a great book - lots of conflict and potential for controversy.

    Please enter me in the draw :) iola [at] iolagoulton [dot] com

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