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The Glass Castle (about her chaotic childhood) and Half Broke Horses (about her awesome grandmother’s childhood in frontier Texas) were both memoirs, and both are all-time favorites. The Silver Star is Jeannette Walls’ first foray into fiction, and I really enjoyed it. A mother with mental health issues, 1960’s racism, the Vietnam war, class system injustice in a mill town, and the rape of her sister are just some of the plotlines in this very satisfying offering. Also, there are emus.

“Don’t be afraid of your dark places,” Mom told her. “If you can shine a light on them, you’ll find treasure there.”
Jeannette Walls, The Silver Star

“What I do know is that wondering why you survived don’t help you survive.”
Jeannette Walls, The Silver Star

“I’m none too big on giving advice,’
Aunt Al said. ‘Most times when folks ask for advice, they already know what they should do. They just want to hear it from someone else.”
Jeannette Walls, The Silver Star

“Job, chapter fourteen, verse seven,” Aunt Al said. “ ‘For there is hope for a tree, if it is cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its tender shoots will not cease.’ ”
Jeannette Walls, The Silver Star