In typical Jeannette Walls fashion, The Silver Star is hilarious, sweet, and sad at the same time. Walls's books are often populated by flaky, irresponsible adults and kids who have to fend for themselves, and this is no exception. After struggling with their mostly absent mother, the two Holladay sisters 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. Recommended By Dianah H., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
In 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 But when school starts in the fall, it’s Bean who easily adjusts and makes friends, and Liz who becomes increasingly withdrawn.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.
About the Author
Jeannette Walls was born in Phoenix, Arizona, and grew up in the southwest and Welch, West Virginia. She graduated from Barnard College and was a journalist in New York City for twenty years. Her memoir, The Glass Castle, has been a New York Times bestseller for more than five years. Walls lives in rural Virginia with her husband, the writer John Taylor.