The Phoenix

The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls

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Walls takes a stab at writing fiction and does not disappoint readers who have enjoyed her other personal, sincere writings.

The Silver Star is the story of two sisters who make the choice to travel cross country to find their Uncle Tinsley’s home after they find a police man waiting outside their home, a few months post their mother leaving home one day. As “Bean” and Liz learn more about their family and why their mother left her home of Virginia in the first place, they become connected to a man by the name of Jerry Maddox. They find work from Maddox, who abuses both his employees as well as his own family, and comfort in a stable lifestyle. As they begin to adjust to this life, Liz finds herself in a dangerous situation with Maddox.

In this coming of age fiction novel, Walls writes of the real emotions of two girls as they figure out a life for their own without their mother and must face the injustices of the world on their own. The novel deals with themes of mental illness, the loyalty of a strong family, and the life of a small town, both the good and bad.

Both characters were unique and sincere but particularly the twelve year old narrator “Bean” is an outspoken fighter despite the hardships she has had to experience. Liz, on the other hand, is the protective, good image any older sister could only hope to be. These girls are forced to take responsibility for their actions and a responsibility most adults cannot even attain.

Jeannette Walls is known for her two widely acclaimed memoirs, The Glass Castle and Half Broke Horses and has published countless works in a variety of publications.

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