Book Review: Who She Is by Diane Byington

Release Date: March 28, 2018
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing
Format: ebook
Pages: 278 pages
Genre:  womens fiction
Buy: Kindle | paperback


In the fall of 1967, Faye Smith’s family moves to Florida to work in the orange groves, and she has to start a new school… again. She tries out for the track team, knowing her mother would never approve because of Faye’s epilepsy.

When Faye discovers she has a talent for distance running, she and her friend Francie decide to enter the Boston Marathon, even though women aren’t allowed to compete. Desperate to climb out of the rut of poverty, Faye is determined to take part and win a college scholarship.

After the school bully tries to run her down with his car, a strange memory surfaces—a scene Faye doesn’t recognize. Her parents insist that it’s a symptom of her epilepsy, but Faye thinks they might be lying, especially when it keeps happening. To get her life on the right path, she’ll need to figure out what her parents are hiding and never lose sight of the finish line.


This was a fast paced read, that I couldn't put down.  Faye Smith's family moves around a lot.  She is never in the same place more than a few months at a time but this time her parents have said they would stay until she finishes high school in a year and a half.  Faye makes friends for the first time and discovers a love of running.  Her parents don't agree with it and want to keep her home but Faye and her friend Francie decide to enter the Boston Marathon despite her parents protests and the fact that women aren't allowed to run.  Faye is determined to run in order to obtain a full scholarship to college so she can break free of the transient hard work of the farm hand.

What starts off as a book about a strict family with a daughter who wants to break free and find her own way turns into a mystery.  Faye starts having flashbacks and bad dreams about another woman, a car wreck and another life. As her home life unravels Faye is forced to try to defend herself and her will.

I liked that this was set back in the late 60's when women were just starting to break out of gender stereotypes. You weren't sure what was just a family scared of the unknown and wanting to keep their daughter "in her place" or what is actually fear of something else. Well written and interesting I really enjoyed this book. 

Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher through Book Sirens in exchange for an honest review.

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