Do you ever read a book that absolutely captivates you, but you don’t actually like it? That was this book. It was uncomfortable to read, not because the author wrote poorly, but because it was so relevant and so well-written. Katie Ganshert’s No One Ever Asked dived into issues of race and prejudice and social inequity without batting an eye, and she did it well enough that it was troubling to read even in contemporary (Christian) fiction.
The worst part of this novel is that it is set in the present day. Ganshert shed light on issues of ongoing racial disparity and discrimination, social justice, poverty, privilege, and inadvertent ideology. In closing, it was a tale of hope, respect, forgiveness, and the remarkable ability to overcome tragedy and injustice.
Our cast of characters (many of whom I did not like at all) came from different backgrounds, with lives intersecting amidst tense socio-economic-political situations – and it was, dishearteningly, based (or stemmed from) recent events in the US. Each character struggled with issues of faith, issues of conscience, and issues in their relationships. Each had a very narrow view of how things should be and the stumbling to accept change or walk in forgiveness or expand perspective – and recognize that everyone is living a flawed and imperfect life despite their backgrounds – was a common thread.
This emotionally charged drama was a very real reminder presented in make-believe that we are so much more than the colour of our skin. It was also, for myself, the reminder that being a white female in today’s society, living a fairly comfortable life, means that I am privileged enough to never, ever truly know the struggles that still exist – today for other races. It was a novel that was at times disheartening, infuriating, and filled with promise.
(Bonus points to the author for including accurate details on how living with Type 1 diabetes is life-altering, but not the end of the world. A small segment, but we could relate to the poking and the bleeding and the counting and the questions…)
Tomorrow, I will share a review of a non-fiction book I just finished that chronicles hope in a very moving way as a counterpoint to the heartwrenching awareness created in this novel.
I received a complimentary copy of this book via NetGalley with thanks to the author and/or publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.
Publisher: WaterBrook & Multnomah
Publication Date: April 3, 2018