The Silver Star: A Novel Hardcover – Jun 11 2013
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Walls has written yet another gripping story of a courageous and sensible girl surviving the adults around her.” (Holly Silva St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
“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.” (Nicholas Mancusi The Daily Beast)
“At heart Walls is a wonderful yarn-spinner…This is a page-turner, built for hammock or beach reading.” (Karen Valby 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.” (Carmela Ciuraru USA Today)
“Walls writes with easy assurance about Liz and Bean, proving in fiction as she did in her memoir, The Glass Castle, that she knows children’s hearts—as well as the evil that can lurk in the hearts of grown-ups.” (Parade)
“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.” (Jane Sumner Dallas Morning News)
“Great writing…An absorbing, unsentimental tale of childhood.” (Chelsea Cain The New York Times Book Review)
“A great spirit comes through The Silver Star…Jeannette Walls knows how to make characters pop off the page (and tear your heart out in the process.)” (Angela Mattano Campus Circle Magazine)
“With immense charm and warmth, Walls, the author of The Glass Castle, has created a lively account of kids finding a way to thrive in the absence of reliable parents.” (Real Simple)
“Jeannette Walls transports us with her powerful storytelling…Using Bean’s expertly crafted, naively stubborn voice, Walls contemplates the extraordinary bravery needed to confront real-life demons in a world where the hardest thing to do may be to not run away.” (Abbe Wright O, the Oprah magazine)
“Jeannette Walls is a master at her craft. In the same way she spoke candidly of her own parents’ shortcomings in The Glass Castle, in The Silver Star she lends this candid voice to Bean, and captures the inner workings of an adolescent’s mind perfectly….The Silver Star stands strong as its own story, wholly unique and wholly captivating.” (Kristin Fritz EverdayEbook.com)
“Walls’ writing is lively and her dialogue crips, and the girls’ struggles with their mother ring true.” (Margaret Quamme The Columbus Dispatch)
“[The Silver Star is] an examination of bad parenting and resilient children in a rich and complex setting. Bean is a compelling character, and it is fascinating to watch her ideas about both her mother and her sister change as the book progresses.” (Sarah Rachel Egelman Bookreporter.com)
“Walls writes with equal tenderness for her most beloved characters and the least among them. It takes a compassionate soul to find the beauty in despair and that’s what Walls does best.” (Amy MacKinnon The Patriot Ledger)
“Jeannette Walls jumps off the memoir train and hitches a ride on the novel form with The Silver Star.” (Elissa Schappell Vanity Fair)
“[A] captivating, read-in-one-sitting, coming-of-age adventure.” (Booklist)
“When Bean reads To Kill a Mockingbird in school, she seems like a long-lost cousin to Scout…She makes for a strong and spunky protagonist.” (Publishers Weekly)
“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))
“By turns witty, warm and provocative, this all ages read by the author of The Glass Castle is a perfect choice for your high school mother-daughter book club or to throw in your beach bag this summer.” (ReadingRants.org)
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 also the author of the instant New York Times bestsellers, The Silver Star and Half Broke Horses, which was 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.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Although The Silver Star is fiction, I could see pieces that may have been gleaned from Walls' past as well.
1970. California. Twelve year old Bean Holladay and her fifteen year old sister Liz are used to their mother Charlotte leaving them on them on their own for a few days. She always stocks up on chicken pot pies - enough to last them 'til she returns. But this time is different - she leaves them with money to last a month - or two if they're careful. When the money runs out and she still hasn't returned, the girls decide to make their way to their mother's hometown - to a place they don't know and to relatives they've never met.
I fell in love with Bean right from the get go. Her curiosity, her forthrightness, her loyalty to those she loves, her devotion to her sister Liz and her resilience all endeared her to me. To Kill a Mockingbird is referenced in the book and Scout was brought to mind when I thought of Bean. Liz is just as well drawn, but on a quieter scale. She's the one who ensures they go to school, that they have meals together, that protects Bean from realizing their plight is more desperate than she lets on.
I had been racing through the book, I was so caught up in the girls' story. But, their arrival in Virginia had me putting the book down and stepping away. I just knew 'something' was going to happen and I wasn't sure if I wanted to know what that was yet, although I had a pretty good idea.
I waited a few days and picked up the book again, when I knew I had time to read right through to the end.Read more ›
Certainly, Walls draws from her own experience in describing the girls' peripatetic life. By the ages of 12 and 15 respectively, "Bean" and Liz Holladay have inured themselves to following their wannabe actress mother, Charlotte, around the country. But when Charlotte takes off to San Diego for longer than usual, leaving the girls with their usual stash of chicken pot pies, the authorities take interest in their house and Liz begins to fear the possibility of foster care. With Bean, she decides to head cross-country to Byler, VA, where the real drama of the book begins.
When the girls show up at their uncle Tinsley's, they discover an eccentric crank who lives in a decaying mansion that used to house the town's cotton mill. But, eventually, Tinsley emerges as a sensitive, conservative Southerner simply struggling to adjust to racial integration and the Vietnam war. Despite Charlotte's desire to take her daughters to NYC, they begin a school year at Byler High, where Bean joins the newly integrated school’s pep squad and thrives by assimilating and creative, sensitive Liz chafes under pressure to conform.
Caught between youth and adult fiction, the book suffers from an identity crisis as well as from a melodramatic courtroom episode but, ultimately, the novel beautifully captures the complexities of two young girls' shifting loyalties. What could have turned out as a runaways-find-home cliché emerges as a fresh look at social change.
Most recent customer reviews
Loved her other two books. This one started out very promising but it became just so-so for me about half-way through.Published 7 days ago by Angela G.
Another engrossing read from this uniquely sensitive writer. I hope she writes something else soon as I've read everything she has written so far.Published 2 months ago by Susan Andrew
Basically a slightly different version of The Glass Castle, which was a so-so book.Published 6 months ago by J. Cote
Read previous books and enjoyed very much - am returning outline appears same as I previously read.Published 12 months ago by Valerie Ritchie
Great story, but did people really have unpluggable phones in small towns in 1970 ?Published 14 months ago by Judith A. Scott