From the New York Times Bestselling Author of An American Marriage
“A love story . . . Full of perverse wisdom and proud joy . . . Jones’s skill for wry understatement never wavers.”
—O: The Oprah Magazine
“Silver Sparrow will break your heart before you even know it. Tayari Jones has written a novel filled with characters I’ll never forget. This is a book I’ll read more than once.”
With the opening line of Silver Sparrow, "My father, James Witherspoon, is a bigamist," author Tayari Jones unveils a breathtaking story about a man's deception, a family's complicity, and the two teenage girls caught in the middle.
Set in a middle-class neighborhood in Atlanta in the 1980s, the novel revolves around James Witherspoon's two families—the public one and the secret one. When the daughters from each family meet and form a friendship, only one of them knows they are sisters. It is a relationship destined to explode. This is the third stunning novel from an author deemed "one of the most important writers of her generation" (the Atlanta Journal Constitution).
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
We love a juicy family secret. From the first time they met, Dana and Chaurisse felt like sisters. And that’s because they are—the Atlanta teens have the same father. But Chaurisse doesn’t know about her dad’s other, secret family. Only Dana knows about the true depth of their relationship, setting their friendship on an inevitable path toward destruction and heartbreak. The first half of this searing and powerful novel gives us Dana’s perspective, complete with all the shame and heartache of growing up in the shadows. When she meets her half-sister, who narrates the second half of the book, we get a new level of raw emotional complexity. With Silver Sparrow, author Tayari Jones draws us deep into a tangled emotional web that’s intimate and captivating.
A coming-of-age story of sorts, Jones's melodramatic latest (after The Untelling) chronicles the not-quite-parallel lives of Dana Lynn Yarboro and Bunny Chaurisse Witherspoon in 1980s Atlanta. Both girls born four months apart are the daughters of James Witherspoon, a secret bigamist, but only Dana and her mother, Gwen, are aware of his double life. This, Dana surmises, confers "one peculiar advantage" to her and Gwen over James's other family, with whom he lives full time, though such knowledge is small comfort in the face of all their disadvantages. Perpetually feeling second best, 15-year-old Dana takes up with an older boy whose treatment of her only confirms her worst expectations about men. Meanwhile, Chaurisse enjoys the easy, uncomplicated comforts of family, and though James has done his utmost to ensure his daughters' paths never cross, the girls, of course, meet, and their friendship sets their worlds toward inevitable (and predictable) collision. Set on its forced trajectory, the novel piles revelation on revelation, growing increasingly histrionic and less believable. For all its concern with the mysteries of the human heart, the book has little to say about the vagaries of what motivates us to love and lie and betray.
This woman was BORN to write! Amazingggg!
Great story and an easy read.
Enjoyed til the end
I loved this book until the end. The characters were complex and interesting and I enjoyed the different perspectives. However, I was very disappointed with the ending- not in what actually happened, but how rushed it felt compared to the rest of the novel. It was almost like the author just wanted to be done with the story and wrapped up as quickly as possible. I did really enjoy her other book, an American marriage and recommend it all the time.