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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Silver Sparrow: A Novel

I can't recall where I picked up the recommendation for Tayari Jones's Silver Sparrow, but if I can ever remember I will send him or her (or it, if it is a magazine) a thank you note for their genius suggestion.

Dana knows from as far back as she can remember that her father has another family. It isn't until she is a little older that she comes to realize that the other family isn't a secret--she is. She and her mother get along in life seeing her father once a week and spying on the other family as much as possible until one day in high school Dana boldly befriends her sister. Dana tries get away with her secret but she risks it all--and is found out in the most hurtful way, losing what little family she has in the process.

I fell in love with this book only a few pages in. It is gorgeously written and beautifully crafted. I want to find Tayari Jones and give her the biggest hug ever and thank her for writing this book for me to dive into with such an open heart. It was outstanding.

This book is told in two parts--the first half by Dana, the second half by Chaurisse, the other daughter. The voices are distinct yet related, not unlike these two young ladies. I found myself pulling for Dana in the first part then sympathizing with Chaurisse in the second, knowing full well the extent of the secret throughout. It was amazing holding all of the information in my head as I read; you as the reader have an outside view and that makes it easier to have your heart broken when the truth is reveled.

I felt so full and yet so hurt when the book ended, and I couldn't stop thinking about it for days. That's the sign of a great story and fabulous writing. I was sucked in and loved the world in which I lived for a few days. There is a great NPR article on the book, and you can even read the first chapter on the website. Do not blame me if you get hooked.

Get this book for yourself. Kindle version on the left, hard copy on the right:

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