by Tayari Jones
Let me just begin by saying, this is already in my top 5 books of the year and it is just May. It is that good. And I’m not biased because I currently live in Atlanta, where the book is set in the 1980’s, and am familiar with the world of the characters. (West End Mall hasn’t changed in 20 years!)
Told in the voices of the youngest ones affected, Silver Sparrow is the story of the families of James Witherspoon – one public, one secret. Like most of these situations, the secret family is well aware of the public one (but not vice versa) and the daughter of this union, Dana, struggles to understand her place in her father’s life. Born just four months before her “sister”, Chaurisse, Dana seeks to know everything about her and the two form a friendship that threatens to destroy the separate lives that James has created.
Jones does a magnificent job of showing the depth of all those involved, to the point that I was unable to label anyone a villain in this scenario. In lesser skilled hands, James, the patriarch of these two families would have easily been the one to hate. But because Jones made the brilliant choice to give him a stutter that showed up when he was stressed or uncomfortable, I always felt sorry for him in a way (Doret & I disagree on this, LOL!).
If I used a rating system on this blog, it would definitely rate a 5 out of 5.