No One Ever Asked

A moving story of racism, community, religion, family, and forgiveness that will force you to think hard about your prejudices and beliefs, and yearn for more compassion in our world.

Years upon years, they learned that if they wanted their voices to be heard,
then they’d better yell.

— Katie Ganshert

Synopsis:

When a low-income (mostly black) school district loses its accreditation, those students must transfer to the local (mostly white) affluent school district of Crystal Ridge. Tensions flare when the communities come together, and three women are especially impacted by this change. Camille Gray, the PTA leader and fundraiser; Jen Covington, whose struggle to have a child brings her to adopt; and Anaya Jones, a first-generation college graduate from the low-income neighborhood who will be teaching at Crystal Ridge. The women’s lives collide in deeply emotional ways, culminating in a tragic event.

Forgiveness isn’t pardon for them. It’s freedom for you.

— Katie Ganshert

Review:

Katie Ganshert tackles so many tough topics in No One Ever Asked – racism, infidelity, violence, adoption, and religion (among others) – and she does so brilliantly. The intricate web of feelings, beliefs, and history she weaves around each character helps them each become more relatable and understandable. I don’t agree with all the choices made, and was often cringing in anxiety or embarrassment for them, but I feel so much compassion for each of them.

She doesn’t shy away from addressing the difficult conundrum of a racist Christian, either, which I appreciate. Religious doesn’t mean perfect, and Ganshert’s comparisons of racist actions and Christian tenets really highlighted the disparity of belief with the truth of action. (Not all Christians are portrayed as racist, and not all racism came from white Christians.)

Ganshert portrays each character’s reluctance and wariness about their situation so well. And she doesn’t give the story a perfectly happy ending. It feels real and hard and murky. There are no quick fixes, and there’s a lot of work that still needs to be done. But there are some truths told and realized, and I believe some of the characters are on their way to a more fulfilling life.

There was one glaringly obvious (to me) omission in the very end that actually really let me down and brought my review down. It would be a huge spoiler, so feel free to email me if you have read the book and want to discuss it!

Overall, a wonderful read that sucked me right into the pages and kept me on the edge of my seat!

Because this was real too, and she didn’t want to give the memory away.
She didn’t want to share it. This fleeting, perfect moment that was bound to pass, just like the rain. But the memory? That would remain.
That would be theirs – just theirs – forever.

— Katie Ganshert

No One Ever Asked
by Katie Ganshert
Paperback, 352 pages
Published April 3rd 2018 by WaterBrook

Summary

No One Ever Asked Us is a moving story of racism, community, religion, family, and forgiveness that will force you to think hard about your prejudices and beliefs, and yearn for more compassion in our world.

— Cassie
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