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With the opening line of Silver Sparrow My father James Witherspoon is a bigamist author Tayari Jones unveils a breathtaking story about a man 's deception a family 's complicity and two teenage girls caught in the middle Set in a middle class neighborhood in Atlanta in the 1980s the novel revolves around James Witherspoon 's two families the public one and the secret one When the daughters from each family meet and form a friendship only one of them knows they are sisters It is a relationship destined to explode when secrets are revealed and illusions shattered As Jones explores the backstories of her rich yet flawed characters the father the two mothers the grandmother and the uncle she also reveals the joy as well as the destruction they brought to one another 's livesAt the heart of it all are the two lives at stake and like the best writers think Toni Morrison with The Bluest Eye Jones portrays the fragility of these young girls with raw authenticity as they seek love demand attention and try to imagine themselves as women just not as their mothers


10 thoughts on “Silver Sparrow

  1. says:

    I had not intended to read this book so quickly or to stay up until 3 AM reading it but I was so caught up in this beautifully written touching story that I couldn't stop It's the kind of book that makes you want to discuss it with others right away I have admired Tayari Jones' writing since her first novel Leaving Atlanta A Novel and in my opinion her writing has only improved over time She is able to convey so much by the voices she creates for two girls with a common father given any sentence in the book the reader will immediately know which girl is speaking with no exaggerated accents or jarring class related characteristics Each girl tells her own story but at the same time their worlds inevitably overlap and collide As Chaurisse tells it having a shared father gave us something in common that looped around our ankles and pulled tight around our wrists This was between all of us The six of us were hog tied fastened in place by different knots James the bigamist his daughters Dana and Chaurisse his wives Gwendolyn and Laverne his enigmatic best friend Uncle Raleigh all caught in a web of lies that must at some point unravel This is a story that rings with truth It is an exceptional book