The Silver Star by Jeanette Walls
Scribner, June 1, 2013
288 pages, 4 stars
ABOUT THE BOOK: I LOVE Jeannette Walls’ memoir The Glass Castle, so when I saw that she has a new book out, I had to get in on that! So, I downloaded it from Netgalley.com and was immediately engrossed. This book is very short and very simply written.With overt comparisons to To Kill a Mockingbird, the novel tackles race relations in 1970, sexual assault, and mental illness, all from a young girl’s perspective.
Bean (real name: Jean) and her older sister, Liz, are left alone in their California home and not for the first time. Their mother, Charlotte, has left them to find herself—that is to follow her dream of being a musician. After two weeks alone—longer than Charlotte’s usual disappearances—social workers start to show up. Liz makes the decision to go visit their Uncle Tinsley in Byler, VA. Byler is the small southern town where their mother grew up, and it’s a town that doesn’t forget past grievances. Tinsley takes them in and the girls start working for Maddox on the side to earn money for school clothes. When Maddox’s attentions become more than professional, some old grudges come to the surface that could start a war in this sleepy town.
ABOUT THE OUTFIT: My dear little sister, you are a fighter in all aspects of life. Whether it’s yelling a the boy stealing peaches from your uncle’s orchard or slashing Maddox’s tires. These steel toed boots are chic and useful for when you’ve run out of rocks to throw.
Pair them with these book-cover-matching jeans, the unofficial uniform at your school. This blue jean shirt is perfect for your country lifestyle: picking berries in the forest and biking over to Aunt Al’s house for fried eggs. This yellow sweater is one you found in that old cedar chest at Tinsley’s house. It’ll keep you warm in the surprisingly cold Virginia winters.
This necklace isn’t your daddy’s silver star that he got in the war, but it reminds you of it and of him. These emu earrings you wear for Liz and her weird love of Eunice and Eugene the two emus she writes poems about. Finally, you aren’t into make up, but this Jelly Bean lip gloss is a must have—it’s named for you!