Cover Image: No One Ever Asked

No One Ever Asked

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Member Reviews

This is the most relevant to current day issues book I’ve ever read. And honestly it has only become more relevant since it was written. No One Ever Asked tackles the difficult conversations relating to racism and education and many other topics. Being a public school teacher myself I related even more to this book, but with three main characters and tons of side characters everyone will find someone to relate to in this book.

No One Ever Asked revolves around the lives of three separate women and their families. Anaya, Camille, and Jen have a few things in common, but truly lead very different lives. I found myself relating very much to Anaya as she is a teacher. But I also felt extreme longing to be Jen since she is an adoptive mother and I’d very much like to do the same one day.

I was really impressed with Anaya. For a first year teacher she really had it all together. Her classroom sounded amazing and I love that she prayed for her students. With Jen what I loved the most were the strong emotions she was feeling as an adoptive mom. The window into her soul was truly heartbreaking at times and heartwarming at other points in the story. I admired her courage and strength. With Camille I’ll admit being a little annoyed. But at the same time I know tons of people just like her - full of opinions without any true reasons behind them!

The issues tackled in the book with race were good reminders that our country hasn’t really come that far. Black children, teens, and adults alike have to be so careful. It broke my heart to read some of the stories in this book about conversations black kids have to have with their parents. Racism is still a problem today and I’m glad Ganshert tackled a difficult topic.

I also really appreciated the honesty in which adoption was written about. Many people think that adoption is a piece of cake and I’m glad Ganshert shared some of the difficult moments it can bring. I actually learned a lot in this book about attachment. It was so interesting to have an inside peek into the life of a family with an internationally adopted child. I especially loved the moments when Anaya sat down with Jen and gave her advice.

This book will challenge you to look into your own life. To see how you think about so many things including but not limited to: race, gun violence, education, teachers, segregation, health, bullying, and forgiveness. 

I’ve read this book twice now and can honestly say I noticed new things the second time. I know this is one I will read over and over again because it truly is that good.

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. This is my honest review.
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This novel was inspired by an episode on ‘This American Life’ that discussed segregation in modern American education. An investigative journalist shared the story of what happened in the Saint Louis area in 2013 when two schools with mostly black or brown students lost their accreditation. Their catchment areas were very poor but the State of Missouri transferred these students to a school in an affluent area, paying for their transport and tuition costs. The furore that resulted resonated back to days of latent inequality, segregation and all out racism, although those times should definitely be consigned to the distant past in today’s modern world. 
Katie Ganshert couldn’t get what she saw and heard in that lone programme off her mind and 'No One Ever Asked’ is the superb and emotionally charged novel that resulted from her creating three strong women characters to base her story around. And what a story it is. It touched my heart, made me cry, made me joyous, made me angry but most of all it fuelled my hatred of injustice. It’s a tremendously vivid, meticulously researched, highly emotional and totally absorbing novel about inequality, rivalry, bias, discrimination and prejudice. The sensitivity of the narrative is both touching and beautiful.
Anaya Jones is a newly qualified young teacher drafted in to Crystal Ridge School to teach younger children. She would rather have been working at South Fork School, an area close to her heart, following in her father’s footsteps, but the school had lost its accreditation and was forced to pay the costs of bussing pupils to a different school and also paying tuition fees.
Camille Gray is the wife of a wealthy businessman and mother of three. She is a driven fundraiser and event organiser and is Chair of the Crystal Ridge School PTA. She is scandalised when children from a very poor area whose school has lost its accreditation are planned to be bussed in to Crystal Ridge to continue their education.
Jen Covington is the mother to a newly adopted African daughter. Once a nurse, but sadly unable to have children of her own, she is trying to build up a relationship with her daughter who has only ever known a life in care. It is so much more of a challenge than she had expected.
Now a fait accompli, and with the South Fork pupils attending their new school, these three women carry on with their lives, despite the turmoil and unrest that this situation in Crystal Ridge has undergone. As tensions rise, jealousy and intolerance raise their ugly heads. Told from three different points of view and with each story both interesting and compelling, suddenly a fuse is ignited and what happens next has far reaching implications for everyone.
I will never forget this far reaching and hugely enjoyable story. The issues are somewhat unpalatable, but the storytelling exquisitely mitigates the issues raised. I received a complimentary copy of this novel from publisher WaterBrook through my membership of NetGalley. These are my own honest opinions without any outside influences. I believe this is an outstanding novel and I am so grateful for my copy.
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Wow.  This is a really powerful book, and so needed at this point in our nation - possibly our world.  It is told from multiple perspectives, each with their own baggage, and I will admit to struggling to get past the point of thinking, "such overreaction" at times.  At it's core, it's a book about race, and understanding various races.  If I had to point out one dislike, it would be that only black and white are represented, while we know that there are a multitude of races, each with their own perspectives and struggles, and none of these others are used as a character.  The ending was somewhat anticlimatic, but only because the entire book was an exercise in straining your emotions and developing empathy.
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Another awesome read from 2018! Timely, and full of headline news, this book is a real winner. Couldn't put it down.

Thanks to author, publisher and NetGalley for the chance to read this book. While I got the book for free, it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.
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No One Ever Asked
Katie Ganshart
Available: April 3, 2018
Thank you to for the opportunity to read an Advanced Reader Copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Sometimes I forget that some states do not have the same laws as we do in California. I’m not talking about guns or pot, but cell phones. I was stunned when Camille had a private conversation with another person while driving her car. I can’t remember the last time I had a phone conversation that didn’t start out with “So and So is in the car with us…”.
Could this be considered a “Christian”book? Maybe – heavy on the church references and Bible verses; very light on the swearing and sex. If it is meant to be, I think it does an accurate portrayal of true Christians and those that are in name only ones.  The topics of race and guns are, unfortunately, very timely topics right now and I think Katie Ganshart does an excellent job of presenting all sides.
What I loved:   I love that Jen and Nick looked outside of the traditional baby route for an international adoption. I only wish that they could have also looked around their own neighborhood and maybe looked to foster and then adopt a child or two in our over burdened foster system
What I didn’t love: Camille is not a likeable main character and her daughter Paige is even more spoiled than Camille is so there very little sympathy from me in any of her situations. For her to completely abandon her stance on guns and do a complete 180 does not win her points in my book and in a state like California, probably would have been held accountable for what happened.
What I learned:  Color is something we all see, but its how we all react to one another that can make the difference.
Overall Grade:  B
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