Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls #audiobook




The Silver StarThe 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 But when school starts in the fall, it’s Bean who easily adjusts and makes friends, and Liz who becomes increasingly withdrawn.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.  Audiobook 
7 hrs and 48 mins  RELEASE DATE 06-11-13 Simon & Schuster Audio

I am not much of a crier and I usually don't fall in love with stories that make me emotional. The Silver Star audiobook read by the author herself Jeannette Wells had me very close to tears not once, but twice.

My initial interest in the story was that it's told from a young Bean's perspective. She is at that age when she questions everything with Why?  With an older sister who is very intelligent and thinks before she acts, Bean and Liz make quite a pair.

This story focuses on family. Of course not all families are perfect, and when there are young children involved things become more complicated. Their mother is still learning how to act like an adult herself and the children suffer for that. When the girls decide to take a bus halfway across the country to live with their Uncle, that took guts. Uncle Tinsley was my favorite character after Bean. He has is own faults, but I admire him and think he is a very smart man. The family they have never met and eventually get to are entertaining characters.Especially Aunt Al, she's a hoot!

The thing that worked best about this audio? The narration. As the story grows, so does your heart for Bean, her constant questions and pushing people to make up their  minds and stand up for what is right. She is very open minded, a kind soul and most of all a very dedicated friend. Her personality shines and when trouble happens. She's the one that keeps this family connected.

The Silver Star is a story I would recommend. It does contain talk of rape, abuse and alcohol. Also it incorporates a time when the integration of schools began getting enforced. A very touching story that has stuck with me and would listen to again. (with tissues handy)

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