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Silver Sparrow Paperback – May 8, 2012
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Deliver Her: A Novel
The mother of a grieving teenager makes a decision that may shatter their family forever. Learn More
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From Publishers Weekly
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wavers."―O, The Oprah Magazine
—Los Angeles Times
—Jennifer Weiner on NBC’s Today show
Top Customer Reviews
Silver Sparrow is the story of two daughters, Dana Lynn Yarboro and Chaurisse Witherspoon, the bigamist father they share, James Witherspoon, his might-as-well-be brother and shadow Raleigh, and the mothers of the two girls, Gwendolyn and Laverne. The backdrop is black, middle class Atlanta during the 1980s but there's also a lot of really interesting and difficult historical context brought into the novel to help explain how the adults, in particular, came to such a complicated pass. The writing is subtle, elegant and the exceptional attention to detail really elevates this book.Read more ›
I guess every fiction book (or diet book, but that's another story), from Shakespear and Tolstoy on down is about people whose lives are in some way train wrecks - or you would have no plot, no conflict. So why were these train wrecks so unsatisfying?
The book was very well written, Dana and Chaurisse were compelling, sympathetic and well drawn, the story full of twists and turns and an original plot building up to a final confrontation, and the dialogue especially good. So why didn't this work for me?
This book felt like the kind of friend's divorce I'm sure everybody has seen - when it first erupts you're sympathetic, fascinated, supportive and frankly kinda nosy. But say the friend never grows and moves on, but continues to have the same fights with the ex for the next twenty years (with different incidents, but basically the same fights), and after awhile it gets dull and repetitious and when the subject comes up you zone out and while you still may make sympathetic noises when she talks, you're sympathy is pretty much dead.
Here, the train just kept wrecking, over and over, and the characters just kept having the same conflicts and fights and issues, and never seemed to grow or develop. Despite all the drama nothing really seemed to happen- and in the end, the daughters appear to be essentially replaying the train wrecks of their parents' lives, with a few changes in the details.
Sometimes this can be a very powerful statement (Hemingway in The Sun Also Rises) but here it just got tiresome. I kept thinking this novel begged for some kind of growth, change, or development in the characters, but it just didn't happen.
So despite the good writing, for me in the end the book fell flat.
These are people with children, jobs and commitments, upstanding citizens in nearly every sense of the word, the only difference being that they sustain a strange, dual family system --- a system that inherently requires deception and is forced upon the children. It is done in order to preserve the daily harmony and protect the feelings of others, yet as the psychological strain builds (and we know it must), it becomes all-too clear that the ones who are hurt are always the innocents.
Bigamy is the subject of this unusual story told in SILVER SPARROW, covering the life of a bigamist husband and dual father. James Witherspoon is a middle-aged African American man who has lived his lie for two decades. His story begins innocently with his daughter's recollections of her own illegitimacy. Dana describes her parents' affair in full detail, including what it's been like for her through the years. She has been kept a secret all her life. Dana's mother originally confided their story to her daughter years ago, telling of her affair directly and honestly. Dana understands their reasons and relates to the longings of a lonely heart. She believes it happened out of the blue, and though it was certainly a dishonest act, she recognizes that it wasn't premeditated at all. It seemed to happen very naturally, though resulted in a pairing that could not be recognized and would lead to a life of disasters and hurts.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was a good book. I liked the plot. I knew what was going to happen. I just didn't know how it would unfold. The characters seemed real and normal as in everyday life. Read morePublished 58 minutes ago by earth traveler
Terrific book club read....we had a lot of discussion on this book.Published 19 days ago by sharon batson
This was a great read. We learn all sides of the story and how one event can have many repercussions.Published 24 days ago by Amazon Customer
Tayari Jones' will have me thinking about Silver Sparrow and its tale of the complexities of marriage and generational patterns of love for years to come. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Wise bird
A very entertaining read with an authentic voice that communicates pain, passion and change.
Good job Ms. Jones!
This was a great read! I have known many families like this in which the father has more than one family. This book tells both sides and includes all characters point of view. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Samantha Carr
A beautifully told story! Flawlessly told through the eyes of brave girl who only wants what's rightfully hers....unconditional transparent love from her father.Published 4 months ago by Andrea