Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones

I am back with another blog about Tayari Jones’s latest book. My last first blog was about her debut novel, Leaving AtlantaSilver Sparrow is told through the eyes of half sisters, Dana Yarboro and Chaurisse Witherspoon. The first line in the book reads, “My father, James Witherspoon, is a bigamist.” Who can resist an opening sentence like this?

Dana’s mother, Gwendolyn and father, James married in Alabama after she was born, but they are a well-kept secret. James’s friend, Raleigh is the only one who is aware of their existence. Dana and her mother know about Chaurisse and Laverne, yet they have no clue that they exist. Dana and her mother live a modest life and manage to get by without James being a permanent fixture in their household. Wednesday is James’ “poker night” and he and Raleigh always have dinner with Dana and Gwendolyn. James does his best to make sure Gwendolyn and Dana avoid Laverne and Chaurisse. Because of this, Dana is often told she cannot participate in the same activities or attend a particular school because Chaurisse will be doing so.

Chaurisse’s mother, Laverne married James when they were in high school. Laverne runs a hair salon and James owns a small limo service. Laverne is under the impression that her life is close to perfect, yet does she know her husband has another family on the other side of town.

This intriguing story follows sisters, Dana and Chaurisse, from kindergarten through high school. Even though the same blood flows through their veins, the girls lead very different lives, eventually their paths cross and they form a friendship. The anticipation of wondering if or when the cat will be let out of the bag will keep you engrossed to the very end.

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