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Wednesday Weekly

The Silver Star

By Jeanette Walls


This is another book that has been on my to read list for some time!! I checked this out of my local library. This book was published in 2013. I was really looking forward to this one. I have read Jeanette Walls other books and I really liked them. I thought that this book was a little of a disappointment.

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 But when school starts in the fall, it’s Bean who easily adjusts and makes friends, and Liz who becomes increasingly withdrawn.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 (Goodreads synopsis).

I like the girls, Bean and Liz. The storyline here is a believable¬†one. I read this is only two days. It is eventful and kept my interest. I think that this book lacks something that her other two books had. The other books are so deeply emotionally heart wrenching. This book was maybe not as raw and black and white as the others. Those two girls had to grow up fast and they needed a stable person in their life. I was struck by their ability to cope with their mother’s mental illness. Their uncle seems like too much of a pushover. He just lets them in and takes over caring for them with out grumping around? Seems to be an unlikely character. I think that The Silver Star is a good book, but I was expecting a great book. Her first two books were incredible!!! They were just too exceptional to top. I give this book a 3 out 5 stars.


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