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The Silver Starby Jeannette Walls
In typical Jeannette Walls style, The Silver Star is hilarious, sweet, and sad at the same time. Walls' books are often populated with flaky, irresponsible adults and kids who have to fend for themselves, and this is no exception. The two Holladay sisters, after struggling with their mostly absent mother, try to find themselves a real home with their eccentric uncle who lives in a small town on the other side of the country. Walls writes with a huge heart and a sly sense of humor, and The Silver Star is a perfect combination of both.
Synopses & Reviews
From one of the greatest storytellers of our time, the acclaimed, bestselling, "gripping story of a courageous and sensible girl surviving the adults around her" (St. Louis Post Dispatch) — "a page turner" (Entertainment Weekly).
It is 1970 in a small town in California. “Bean” Holladay is twelve and her sister, Liz, is fifteen when their artistic mother, Charlotte, 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 widowed 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 stories about why their mother left Virginia in the first place. Money is tight, and the sisters start babysitting and doing office work for Jerry Maddox, foreman of the mill in town, who bullies his workers, his tenants, his children, and his wife. Liz is whip-smart — an inventor of word games, reader of Edgar Allan Poe, nonconformist. But when school starts in the fall, it’s Bean who easily adjusts, and Liz who becomes increasingly withdrawn. And then something happens to Liz in the car with Maddox.
Jeannette Walls 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.
“At heart Walls is a wonderful yarn-spinner…This is a page-turner, built for hammock or beach reading.” Entertainment Weekly
“Walls is adept at steeping her characters in some intense, old-fashioned drama…The Silver Star is a lovely, moving novel with an appealing narrator in Bean.” USA Today
“Walls writes with the paired-down incisiveness of a memoirist looking for the significance of every incident, but it’s the way she draws Bean, so strong even in the face of all the additional challenges that come with her age, gender, and innocence, that will make this book a hit with readers.” The Daily Beast
"Walls has written yet another gripping story of a courageous and sensible girl surviving the adults around her.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“Told with a balanced, yet whimsical, voice of insight and awareness...[The Silver Star] is set during the Nixon ‘70s and Vietname War, and the author adeptly evokes the tumultuous era in the narrative without letting it overwhelm the primary thread of Bean’s coming-of-age adventures.” San Francisco Chronicle
"A polished work of fiction....Engaging....Fans will find echoes of her coruscating family chronicle that first struck a chord with readers in 2005, but The Silver Star is the novel of a more confident, mature and calculating writer...[an] atmospheric bildungsroman of adolescent passage, changing times and bent but unbroken family bonds." Dallas Morning News
"Great writing....An absorbing, unsentimental tale of childhood." Chelsea Cain, The New York Times Book Review
"Jeannette Walls jumps off the memoir train and hitches a ride on the novel form with The Silver Star." Elissa Schappell, Vanity Fair
"Walls turns what could have been another sentimental girl-on-the-run-finds-home cliché into a fresh consideration of both adolescence and the South on the cusp of major social change." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
About the Author
Jeannette Walls graduated from Barnard College and was a journalist in New York. Her memoir, The Glass Castle, has been a New York Times bestseller for more than six years. She is the author of a novel, Half Broke Horses, named one of the ten best books of 2009 by the editors of The New York Times Book Review. Walls lives in rural Virginia with her husband, the writer John Taylor.
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