Saturday, July 22, 2017

Silver Sparrow

Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones.  352 pages.

"My father, James Witherspoon, is a bigamist."  And so begins this story about one man's deception, and two teenage girls caught in the middle.  Set in a middle-class neighborhood in Atlanta in the 1980s, we have two families: the public one and the secret one.  The story begins with Dana, the secret daughter, whose mother is married to James Witherspoon, but not really legally.  Dana and her mother are more than aware of James' other wife and daughter, to the point where they occasionally do surveillance on them, observing them at home and at work.  In the second part of the story, we get the viewpoint of Chaurisse, James' other daughter from his public, legal marriage.

When Dana meets Chaurisse, the two form a friendship where only one of them knows they are sisters.  So is it really a friendship or is one of them angling to hurt one of the families?

I found this to be a realistic, authentic story where you explore the lives of flawed characters and are drawn into their lives.  It was easy to feel immersed in the story, and even though I was frustrated with the characters at times, I found their stories to be compelling. It's an interesting way to explore relationships between siblings, as well as families in general.

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