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The Silver Star: A Novel | [Jeannette Walls]

The Silver Star: A Novel

It is 1970. "Bean" Holladay is 12 and her sister, Liz, is 15 when their artistic mother, Charlotte, a woman who flees every place she’s ever lived at the first sign of trouble," takes off to find herself." She leaves her girls enough money for food to last a month or two. But when Bean gets home from school one day and sees a police car outside the house, she and Liz board a bus from California to Virginia, where their widowed Uncle Tinsley lives in the decaying antebellum mansion that’s been in the family for generations.
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Publisher's Summary

From one of the best-selling memoirists of all time, a stunning and heartbreaking novel about an intrepid girl who challenges the injustice of the adult world - a triumph of imagination and storytelling.

It is 1970. "Bean" Holladay is 12 and her sister, Liz, is 15 when their artistic mother, Charlotte, a woman who flees every place she’s ever lived at the first sign of trouble," takes off to find herself." She leaves her girls enough money for food to last a month or two. But when Bean gets home from school one day and sees a police car outside the house, she and Liz board a bus from California to Virginia, where their widowed Uncle Tinsley lives in the decaying antebellum mansion that’s been in the family for generations.

An impetuous optimist, Bean discovers who her father was and learns many stories about why their mother left Virginia in the first place. Money is tight, so Liz and Bean start babysitting and doing office work for Jerry Maddox, foreman of the mill in town, a big man who bullies workers, tenants, and his wife. Bean adores her whip-smart older sister, inventor of word games, reader of Edgar Allan Poe, non-conformist. But when school starts in the fall, it’s Bean who easily adjusts and makes friends, and Liz who becomes increasingly withdrawn.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 in the car with Maddox.

The author of The Glass Castle, hyper-alert to abuse of adult power, has written a gorgeous, riveting, heartbreaking novel about triumph over adversity and about people who find a way to love the world despite its flaws and injustices.

©2013 Jeannette Walls (P)2013 Simon & Schuster

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (242 )
5 star
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3.7 (202 )
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3.8 (204 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Lorraine Russo Towaco, NJ USA 10-10-14
    Lorraine Russo Towaco, NJ USA 10-10-14 Member Since 2013
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    9
    8
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    "Love Jeannette Walls"

    Love her stories and narrations. I only wish she would write another book soon.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cortney New York 08-24-14
    Cortney New York 08-24-14 Member Since 2014
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    3
    2
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    "Walls beautifully captures complexity of family."
    What did you love best about The Silver Star?

    Jeannette Walls never shies away from creating parental characters that you both love and hate. I think what I loved best was her focus on the sibling relationship and how protective that can be when you are dealing with parents who, for whatever reason, are unstable.


    What aspect of Jeannette Walls’s performance would you have changed?

    I found Walls' performance to be boring. In fact, I was shocked that as the writer if this story, there wasn't much inflection or emotion present during her narrating. It was definitely something I noticed within the first half hour but continued throughout the book. It may have seemed especially absent given the subject matter (particularly the alleged sexual abuse) as I felt using more emotion would've helped flesh out that scene. I also would suggest using different voices for the different characters. As a newbie to audiobooks (yet an avid reader) I find this helpful to get lost in the story.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Not sure, but it would highlight the sibling bond and the resilience of the girls. And maybe mention the unique kindness of the uncle.


    Any additional comments?

    While I'm a huge fan of Walls, II didn't enjoy this as much as "The Glass Castle". I was thrown a bit when the story took a turn and the girls left for their uncle's home. Initially, I expected that the story would be about the journeys and obstacles of living alone while waiting for their mother's return. After completing the book, I see that the journey back to their mother's old home was integral in the direction of the narrative. I would still recommend this to a friend, but it wouldn't be my first recommendation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patti Frisco, TX, United States 02-12-14
    Patti Frisco, TX, United States 02-12-14 Member Since 2012

    pa1959

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    2
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    "Bad - Couldn't even finish!"
    Would you try another book from Jeannette Walls and/or Jeannette Walls?

    I've heard great things about her and I have one of her other books that I've not read yet so I thought this would be a good read...WRONG.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Yes...she sounds like a young girl which I realize this is written from the perspective of a young girl but it lacks depth and the way in which it's read doesn't help it at all.


    Any additional comments?

    I made it through 5 chapters and had to quit. I should have read the other reviews before I checked this out. Everyone else's perception was the same as mine. The writer lacks depth in developing the characters and the story line. It's really a book for a teenager with a simple story line. Very disappointing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie Lake Havasu City, AZ, United States 08-27-13
    Debbie Lake Havasu City, AZ, United States 08-27-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    99
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    "Just OK"

    I really wanted to like this book. It took me several tries, starting to listen to this book & abandoning it, to finally get interested enough to stay with it. I finally got far enough into it to get interested in the story & want to finish it. Narrator wasn't great - I think a better narrator would have helped. It was an OK story & I was rooting for the girls towards the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maureen McDaniel 07-23-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Reader a disappointment"
    Would you try another book from Jeannette Walls and/or Jeannette Walls?

    I really like her writing and loved the two other books of hers that I have read.


    What was most disappointing about Jeannette Walls’s story?

    I am not continuing to listen, because the narration is so unpleasant for me!


    What didn’t you like about Jeannette Walls’s performance?

    The pacing is off, the expression seems forced, and her voice is not professional in quality.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rachel SALINA, KS, United States 07-08-13
    Rachel SALINA, KS, United States 07-08-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Hire a narrator!"
    What did you like best about The Silver Star? What did you like least?

    Jeannette Wall's is a good writer. I look forward to her books.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Hire a narrator!


    What didn’t you like about Jeannette Walls’s performance?

    Drab, too like her other books.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Maybe


    Any additional comments?

    No

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Glenda 06-23-13
    Glenda 06-23-13
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    "Another great story from Walls"
    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters are so well developed. I also loved Jeanette's narration.


    Have you listened to any of Jeannette Walls’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    yes. It's as good as the others. I didn't want it to end.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kbod29 06-26-13
    Kbod29 06-26-13
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    "Great read!"
    If you could sum up The Silver Star in three words, what would they be?

    Great summer read!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The main character " Bean". Her 12 year old perspectives run a wide range from innocent to tenacious & stubborn through the whirlwind of changes she & her sister take on, both In their world as kids & the world of adults. Uncle Tinsley, the reclusive hoarder, was a close second with his odd, but caring efforts in offering the girls an anchor in their lives.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    1st day of school at their new school - the mixture of excitement & dread against the backdrop of the historical timing.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    There were both "laugh out loud" moments & moments where I winced with empathy for Bean, her sister, & her mom, & others in the Holladay clan.


    Any additional comments?

    Believable characters & real life dilemmas.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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