Dana and Chaurisse are two girls about the same age who share the same father, but this isn’t a normal half-sister sort of relationship. Chaurisse and her mother believe that they are living a normal, one-family life. Dana and her mother know that they are the illegitimate family, hidden from the primary family. Dana watches Chaurisse, envious but also longing for connection, while Chaurisse remains oblivious to her presence.
Silver Sparrow was one of the top five books I wanted to get at BEA, so I was thrilled when Heather was able to find it for me after my trip there was canceled last minute. I dove into it almost immediately after receiving it and it definitely lived up to my expectations. In fact, it was even better than The Untelling, which I read last year and loved.
The structure of this book is what really made it work for me. The first half is told from Dana’s point of view, so that you get to know her side of the story. Then the narrative is picked up by Chaurisse in the second half, and this girl that you might not have understood so well in the first half becomes real and sympathetic. I found that I didn’t prefer one girl over the other, but felt sorry for both of them for what their father did to them and their mothers.
Just like in The Untelling, one of the big thematic elements in Silver Sparrow is dishonesty. Dishonesty ruins lives, and the lies can never be hidden permanently. Eventually truth comes to light, and when it’s been hidden, the revealing is always more explosive and destructive. Considering how important honesty is to me personally, this is a theme I love seeing explored.
I highly recommend this book, and Jones’ books in general. Her writing is beautiful – slow and languorous – and her stories make you think. I know this one will stay with me for a long time, just like The Untelling, and I’m so glad to have received this copy!