The Silver Star

The Silver Star It is in a small town in California Bean Holladay is twelve and her sister Liz is fifteen when their artistic mother Charlotte takes off to find herself leaving her girls enough money to las

It is 1970 in a small town in California Bean Holladay is twelve and her sister, Liz, is fifteen when their artistic mother, Charlotte, 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 widowed Uncle TIt is 1970 in a small town in California Bean Holladay is twelve and her sister, Liz, is fifteen when their artistic mother, Charlotte, 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 widowed 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 stories about why their mother left Virginia in the first place Money is tight, and the sisters start babysitting and doing office work for Jerry Maddox, foreman of the mill in town, who bullies his workers, his tenants, his children, and his wife Liz is whip smart an inventor of word games, reader of Edgar Allan Poe, nonconformist, but when school starts in the fall, it s Bean who easily adjusts, and Liz who becomes increasingly withdrawn And then something happens to Liz in the car with Maddox.Jeannette Walls has written a deeply moving novel about triumph over adversity and about people who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.

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The Silver Star

  1. Jeannette Walls is a writer and journalist.Born in Phoenix, Arizona, she graduated with honors from Barnard College, the women s college affiliated with Columbia University She published a bestselling memoir, The Glass Castle, in 2005 The book is being adapted into a film coming to theaters this August 11th.

376 Reply to “The Silver Star”

  1. Jeannette Walls wrote two fabulous memoirs The Glass Castle and Half Broke Horses I devoured them both in a couple of days Half Broke Horses is the tale of her incredible grandmother, and The Glass Castle is the tale of Walls own life, growing up with her eccentric mother and alcoholic father Both books were extremely well written and fantastic reads, despite the sad and unnerving stories of the emotional abuse So I was quite excited to be reading an advanced copy of her new book, a fictional ta [...]

  2. I am huge fan of Jeannette Walls hence the generous three stars , but this book fell flat It seemed contrived and predictable From the characters, to the plot, the entire book read like a symphony composed of only one note There was nothing special, surprising or unique about this book I still love JW and will read her next book If you read this one, borrow it from a friend or check it out at the library.

  3. I m a fan of Jeanette Walls Her memoir, The Glass Castle, is a book that keeps popping up into my consciousness every now and then at very odd times I think that is a mark of a really great book Though I really enjoyed The Silver Star, I don t foresee the same thing happening.Sisters, Bean and Liz Holladay have the misfortune of being the daughters of a supremely flakey mother, Charlotte, who doesn t see a problem leaving a 12 and 15 year old home alone for weeks at a time She has to find hersel [...]

  4. After having read Ms Walls first two novels, this one was a disappointment The writing and the story telling was simplistic and probably makes for an ok YA novel This author does seem quite focused on someone being a bad parent and one would guess after the experiences she and her siblings went through that that makes sense.This was certainly an easy quick read, however, it was not very inspiring On the plus side, it did show the resiliency of sisters and one of family ties that oftentimes saves [...]

  5. It s been a weird year, you guys I bleached my hair blonde again, and if I haven t mentioned it before, people say the most ridiculous stuff to blondes It s crazy It s like people are standing in line to make idiots out of themselves if you have blonde hair Blondes, you guys have to dye your hair brown for a while Just do it to see what life is like on the other side It s real different You can go places and not have people be asses to you Samples of some of the weird things people have said and [...]

  6. 3.5 stars This was a very quick, enjoyable read It definitely gave me similar vibes asThe Glass Castle andWhite Oleander, but my one complaint is that it seemed to lack the depth that those books had Though it approached serious topics with care, it didn t seem to analyze them enough for me It felt very surface level Nonetheless, I enjoy Walls writing style and it would be a good pick for people who read a lot of YA and might want to tread into adult literary fiction.

  7. I read the book in a day and was left longing to know about the sisters lives as they grew older Mrs Walls has again given me a book that keeps me thinking about the people you meet in life and their story I had the great opportunity of hearing Mrs Walls speak a couple of years ago, she encouraged everyone to write their storywhat an inspiration she is

  8. Poorly written There was very little character development and I ultimately couldn t decide what this novel was supposed to be about An unreliable mother A grumpy uncle Rape Racism Small town justice A family s attempt to heal itself A girl s coming of age Emus The story was just all over the place and the author didn t really delve into any one subject thoroughly enough to tie it all together It was the same with the characters The author never really explored the motivations of anyone which is [...]

  9. 3.5 stars A good story by a gifted writer, but I expected much better I liked Bean a lot but the rest of the characters seem pale by comparison and the story feels almost too easy.

  10. Curiosity kicked in when I first read the title of this book and I included this right away in my to read list I ve read some not so good reviews here regarding this book, but it didn t stop me from reading this and enjoying the story Liz and Bean s mother, Charlotte, totally irked me for being so irresponsible It is her fault why her daughters decided to left and went to Virginia they faced several serious problems such as money, bullying and harassment At least the girls were still lucky becau [...]

  11. If ever an author is able to write a wonderfully poignant novel about two young girls and an unstable mother, Wallis is the one She has a such a fluent way of storytelling and a compassionate treatment of her characters Bean is twelve, her sister fifteen and though it is usually her older sister who takes care of her, circumstances will later dictate that it is Bean who will become the fighter Bean has a big mouth, she believe in justice and she does not believe in letting things go She reminds [...]

  12. The Glass Castle is one of my favorite books and I enjoyed Half Broke Horses, but I was not a fan of Silver Star In my opinion, the further Jeannette Walls strays from telling a story that is her own, the worse the story While I know she has gone through some terrible situations in her own life, I don t think creating new ones through fiction is her strength She did a great job of creating the characters in Silver Star and the problems that went with the characters, but the book never really wen [...]

  13. For the first time in recent memory, I find myself not giving four or five stars to a book that I read very quickly, in a couple of days Which is not to say that I disliked it In fact, I did like it, sometimes a lot, sometimes just in an okay kind of way But the book ultimately is a letdown from Walls s The Glass Castle, as all of her future works are probably destined to be How can you match the excellence of a book that still maintains a solid perch on many national and worldwide bestseller li [...]

  14. There is a strong undercurrent of To Kill A Mockingbird lurking in The Silver Star I wonder how many people who have read TKAM understand how the title relates to the work While there are no mockingbirds in this novel there are emus and a silver star and their symbolism is as strong as the mockingbird I found the novel powerful in many ways Like Scout, the narrator of TKAM, Bean is a twelve year old girl with a strong personality It is Bean that provides an anchor and a moral compass to the stor [...]

  15. Oh, this started out so well I was mesmerized for the first two or three CDs We ve got the tough older sister watching out for the thoughtful younger sister because the mom can t really do the mothering thing We ve got a trip cross country to see a barely known uncle We ve got smart moves and new towns and a big, bad villian And then it all fell apart.I hate feeling preached at, I absolutely hate it I felt preached at for a good quarter of this book It was like little 12 year old Bean went from [...]

  16. Wow I loved this book Glancing at the other reviews, I liked it a lot than most of the other reviewers.I m a big fan of Jeannette Walls writing and as soon as I saw she had a new book out, I had to read it This one is definitely a novel and not based on her life or any of her relatives.The book opens with two sisters they are really half sisters who share the same mother, but have different fathers , Liz who is 15 and Bean who is 12 The year is 1970 and they live in a small town in California w [...]

  17. Jean Bean Holladay narrates the story of her and her sister, Liz s, maturation during a year of tumult and turmoil Daughters of an aspiring actress musician who never seems to make it, the girls are often left alone to fend for themselves while their Mother searches for work or takes weeks trying to find herself When Bean comes home to espy police sniffing around their home, the sisters hop on a bus and head for their Mother s birthplace and the hope of shelter and safety of their Uncle What com [...]

  18. Let me preface by saying I adored Jeannette Walls memoir, The Glass Castle, so I have been looking forward to this novel for a long time I may have built it up in my mind a bit too much If allowed it, I would have given it 2.5 stars instead of 2 stars as it was a sweet story My problem with the book was that I felt like the characters were pretty cardboard and unoriginal The precocious, spunky female tween protagonist, the mother who was a larger than life, flaky, aspiring superstar, and abandon [...]

  19. 3.5 starsLike Jeanette Walls memoir, The Glass Castle, this novel features a self centered, unstable parent neglecting the children Fifteen year old Liz and twelve year old Bean are abandoned in California with some money for chicken pot pies when their mother goes off to find the magic again When she does not return, they board a bus for rural Virginia where their Uncle Tinsley lives It s a big adjustment to be living in a 1970s Southern mill town during the first year of school integration.The [...]

  20. I really enjoyed this dark, gothic book I loved the narration and that the main character was a young, spunky child This choice added depth and voice to the tale, helping me truly feel for the characters At times this book was filled with the lightness of childhood and others extreme darkness I also was swept away by the setting, truly feeling the south and craving summer days The characters in this book were so varied From captivating, frustrating horrifying and endearing, they all had strong p [...]

  21. No one does dysfunction quite as well as Jeanette Walls She once again probes the ins and outs of family dysfunction in her latest novel, The Silver Star The novel, set in 1970, opens in California, where Liz, age fifteen, and her sister Bean, age twelve are living with their artistic and unconventional mother Charlotte Liz, the strong older sister is often the voice of reason in the family, while Bean is still attempting to discover herself When Charlotte leaves them along for longer than her n [...]

  22. Author Jeannette Walls spun a stunning account of a heart wrenching, dysfunctional family In this character driven tale, she left no stones unturned with clear, concise writing that had adhered to the storyline Adequate time had been devoted to the reader with the introduction of the cast as they were presented, one by one, and in turn invoked a level of comfort and familiarity with each character The sometimes dreaded belly of the book, in this case, was not filled with useless digressions for [...]

  23. Jeannette Walls has not disappointed me yet I flew through her newest novel,The Silver Starin a little less than a day, gobbling up the story of twelve year old Bean, and wishing for In the hands of another writer, this novel would have been run of the mill, bordering on schmaltzy The story isn t overly original two sisters must raise themselves because their artistic mother is unstable and unreliable but Walls nails it After their mother abandons them for about a month, the sisters avoid the c [...]

  24. Twelve year old Bean nickname for Jean and her older sister Liz have been abandoned by their mother She s often left before, but this time, the girls don t know when she might return and the officials are starting to snoop around, getting tipped off that the children are unsupervised This dysfunctional single parent family is surviving because of the resilience of the children They take it upon themselves to head to the only family they know exists their uncle who lives on the other side of the [...]

  25. I listened to the audiobook version, read by the author, so my response is as much about the performance as about the story Overall it seems like Walls was trying to hard to force a story, using bits and pieces from other successful books that deal with the same topic children abandoned by their parents, either literally or emotionally The sisters seem like promising characters, but they and the rest of the characters are made of cliches than of lifelike, compelling complexity The people in the [...]

  26. I love Jeannette Walls I loved The Glass Castle especially and heard her speak about her life and the memoir recently She is on a book tour for The Silver Star but interestingly did not read from the new book Talk about a teaser presentation But she was inspiring and incredibly honest about everything she touched upon.I had fun with The Silver Star I wanted to love it love it love it at the 5 star level but couldn t quite get there I think Walls may have been struggling a little bit with jumping [...]

  27. this was such a quick read After loving The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls it may be my favorite book ever , I was really looking forward to this one I was a bit disappointed, but I was also not expecting to love this book as I knew my expectations were too high going into it.In many aspects, it was very similar to The Glass Castle Similar themes were discussed, and Bean was very similar to Jeannette The mothers in both books were also both very similar in their parenting styles, or lack thereo [...]

  28. Let me disclaim that it was pretty impossible that The Silver Star was ever going to reach the expectations I had set for it in advance I loved the Glass Castle so much that when a pre press copy of The Silver Star came through my office, I snatched it up before anyone had a chance to lay their eyes on it The premise was good enough, but I just kept waiting for it to get good I liked the characters and story enough, but it was lacking in the can t put this down writing I came to expect from Ms W [...]

  29. The Silver Star was an easy read Like all three Wall s books, a look at dysfunctional family relationships whose family isn t with an off kilter mom While this was another insightful look into mother daughter complexities, it lacked some of the character depth that was so compelling in the previous two It was somewhat predictable, a little disappointing, but I still love her writing She can do no wrong in IMHO.

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