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Reviewed by Jean Hall for Readers' Favorite
When I began to read "Going Around in Circles," I quickly got to know the main character named Betty. It is a little like reading her diary. Betty is Jamaican-born and she is a fish out of water in America as she faces cultural and racial differences. In her new home, trouble is apparent when she calls her mother by her first name, Naomi. Her mother is verbally and physically abusive. At one point in the story, Naomi hits Betty with a baseball bat. Her family is unstable and fractured. She feels bad about the way she looks. She tells her story of working at the Green Farm restaurant and her college affair with the controlling John. She wears an unfashionable girdle and she has trouble with her hair. Despite all her hardships I felt she was a survivor and that she would fare better as she matured. After her father's funeral and her promising move to Atlanta, she seems to be hopeful for herself and her sons. She says, "I was ready for what the world had to offer."
Joan E. Bent's non-fictional account of Betty's life from teenager to young adulthood is easy to read. But the sentence structure is often incomplete and some words are used incorrectly. However, the emotion this young woman's story creates in us is great. I feel as though this author has something to say and that she may refine her writing in the future.