Thursday, July 25, 2013

Silver Star

Title: Silver Star Author: Jeannette Walls Publisher: Thorndike Press Pages: 390

From Amazon:
The Silver Star, Jeannette Walls has written a heartbreaking and redemptive novel about an intrepid girl who challenges the injustice of the adult world—a triumph of imagination and storytelling.It is 1970 in a small town in California. “Bean” Holladay is twelve and her sister, Liz, is fifteen when their artistic mother, Charlotte, a woman who “found something wrong with every place she ever lived,” takes off to find herself, leaving her girls enough money to last a month or two. When Bean returns from school one day and sees a police car outside the house, she and Liz decide to take the bus to Virginia, where their Uncle Tinsley lives in the decaying mansion that’s been in Charlotte’s family for generations.

An impetuous optimist, Bean soon discovers who her father was, and hears many stories about why their mother left Virginia in the first place. Because money is tight, Liz and Bean start babysitting and doing office work for Jerry Maddox, foreman of the mill in town—a big man who bullies his workers, his tenants, his children, and his wife. Bean adores her whip-smart older sister—inventor of word games, reader of Edgar Allan Poe, nonconformist. But when school starts in the fall, it’s Bean who easily adjusts and makes friends, and Liz who becomes increasingly withdrawn. And then something happens to Liz.

Jeannette Walls, supremely alert to abuse of adult power, has written a deeply moving novel about triumph over adversity and about people who find a way to love each other and the world, despite its flaws and injustices.

I loved this book. But then, I knew I would. I loved The Glass Castle. After reading the description, I couldn't wait to read this book, It didn't disappoint. Liz and Bean are two sisters basically left to raise themselves. Their mother, a spoiled, self-absorbed brat in an adult body deals with life by simply running away from all difficulty. After she abandons them for yet another attempt at furthering her musical career, they take a bus to her family farm in West Virginia. It is here that they finally find roots, family, and a home. Bean captures the heart with her headstrong, forthright ways. This was a heart warming story. I read it in two days because I couldn't bear to put it down. This is a wonderful book. I highly recommend it.

Read this book if:
*you love southern fiction
*you love novels set in Appalachia
*you love novels set in small towns
*you love novels about family

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