The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls

The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls is the story of two sisters, a broken family and the lessons we learn growing up. When Bean and Liz are left alone by their mother again it comes as no great shock. It’s happened before, their mother, an aspiring songstress and actress has always had more on her mind then raising two kids. When their mother doesn’t return and a police officer starts snooping around, the sisters decide to pack their things and head to Byler, the small town their mother grew up in. Their Uncle Tinsley takes them in and soon Bean and Liz learn that although coming to Byler provides stability for them, their mothers reputation precedes them, making fitting in almost impossible. When Liz is assaulted by her boss the sisters become even more ostracized by the townspeople and soon it begins to feel like it’s the sisters vs. the world. 

Walls weaves together a beautiful story about not just family but the bonds that we create with those we love. She gives resonance to the phrase “blood is thicker then water”. Bean has an irrevocably beautiful voice as a narrator and the story she tells and the ways in which she loves makes this story unforgettable and amazing. I adore Jeannette Walls and her penchant for writing about families that are broken but yet so whole. Definitely a must read. 

What’s next on the to read list?

I always find myself suffering from a massive book hangover after reading a Stephen King novel. It’s like my mind is still wandering through that world trying to make sense of the characters, the world, the plot line. I’m hoping this next book will snap me out of it. When I read The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls I was blown away by the depth of her story telling. I’m hoping for an equally exciting experience with this next book.  Stay tuned for my review! 

 

Seriously such an awesome book 

I just finished Finders Keepers by Stephen King and about halfway through I realized that I must be insane because I got it, I understood not just the good guy but the bad one as well. How often does that happen?

In his latest novel King explores the mind of a fanatical reader Morris Bellamy. Morris becomes so obsessed with his favourite author that he goes on a murder rampage when he finds out that the character he idolized, Jimmy Gould, is nothing but a sell out perpetuated by an author that didn’t understand his own character.  

Pete Saubers is just an ordinary kid until he happens upon an old suitcase filled with notebooks and cash. Pete does what any kid with parents going through a hard time would do, he doles the money out to his parents anonymously helping them save their marriage and get out from under their financial hole. Things are great until the money runs out and all Peter has left is notebooks filled with work by a long dead author. The lives of Pete and Morris come together when Pete decides to sell the notebooks and Morris comes looking for them. In typical King fashion, the novel is a rip roaring good time. 

Before writing my own review I read a few other perspectives on King’s latest novel. The review that stuck with me the most was a young lady who proclaimed that this novel was King’s letter to his Constant Reader telling us that he will be bowing out soon. In the novel, the famous author Rothstein decides to lives a secluded life away from the public and to only write for himself. I can’t imagine King signing off in the same way and I imagine there would be more then a few fanatical readers who would be seriously upset if he stopped writing (not murder angry but a shake of the head and maybe a few tears angry). I for one hope he lives and writes forever. 

Verdict in Blood by Gail Bowen 

I recently finished Verdict in Blood by Gail Bowen and I was once again blown away not just by her style of writing but the subtle issues in small town Canada that she brings to light. 

In her fifth instalment of the Joanne Kilbourn saga, Jo’s dear friend Hilda gets caught up in the murder of a prominent lawyer. The family believes that Hilda’s friend was not in her right mind when she died. Why else would she have spent the last months of her life donating money to an ex con? It’s interesting because in this novel Jo is not the main character. We still follow her around in but the murder relates to Hilda more then Joanne. I think Gail was being sneaky with this book, she gave us the mystery we wanted but at the same time I felt that as a writer she wanted to give Joanne a story that was more for her. We explore her relationship with Alex and the complex issue of race in small town Saskatchewan. I live in British Columbia and reading about the racial slurs in the prairies blew me away. I’m not saying B.C. doesn’t experience this, we most certainly do but when you compare racism in a small town to the big city there’s a big difference. 

I enjoyed this novel for many reasons but mostly for its honesty. Gail doesn’t sugar coat anything; love, mental illness or family. She writes it like it is and as always it’s a breath of fresh air.