Betty Jean has a lot on her plate. First of all, her husband is pretty much bedridden with dementia. Then there are her children. Trinetta is hooked on drugs, Dexter is in jail, and Quentin is doing everything he can to forget where he came from. Then Trinetta drops her two kids off with Betty Jean and never comes back. She suddenly has a sick husband and two little boys to care for, all while working full time, delivering room service at a local hotel.
Who Asked You? by Terry McMillan is a novel about family and friendship. It's about the sacrifices we make for those we love. It's about the judgements we make on our own family and friends, and the importance of doing what we think is right. McMillan tells the story from multiple perspectives; we actually hear from 15 different characters throughout the story. But Betty Jean is at the center of it all.
My favorite books are those that really get into the characters, and Who Asked You? does just that. The characters, their actions and their feelings are so real. And McMillan doesn't just show one perspective; she shows many that contradict one another. Yet none of them overpower the others. She does an amazing job of showing how kids who grow up in the ghetto can end up in vastly different places ~ one of Betty Jean's boys is a doctor and the other is in jail. She also shows that it's not all about race by making Betty Jean's best friend a white woman who lives across the street and has her own issues with her kids.
This book is a story of ups and downs, and shows the consequences of our actions. But in the end, it's an uplifting story that shows that with the right support, motivation and love, anyone can surpass their challenges.
My Rating: 5/5
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This review was written based on a copy of Who Asked You? that I received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.