Rust & Stardust - The Review
Wow! Rust & Stardust is heart-breaking, moving and beautiful. T. Greenwood does a fantastic job of hooking her readers right off the bat.
(Photo courtesy of Vanity Fair)
Eleven year old Sally Horner comes from a tragic story and just wants to fit in. After attempting to steal a notebook she is apprehended by a man claiming to be from the FBI and he is taking her to face criminal charges. However, he is not what he seems. As the story unfolds we learn more about this man's true character and the monster that he actually is.
Sally, being naive and hidden from the larger evils of the world, goes along with his lies for a while. As the years pass and she gets older she begins to put two and two together, just as Mr, Warner, her captor, starts to spiral out of control.
The story is told from the perspective of some of the key characters. Such as Sally, her mother, Ruth (the eventual heroine of the day), Sally's sister and various others who witnessed this sad child as she passed through their world.
While this may sound like a nightmare of terrible proportions (it is) there are also some very tender and touching moments. Such as when Sally meets new friends or is gifted a puppy. For just a blink of an eye we get to witness Sally as a happy girl, but just for an instant. Mr. Warner is careless, abusive and a drunk. He cares not for Sally. He cares himself and his needs.
The shocking twist doesn't come during the story. In fact, it comes in the afterward written by the author describing the book. Turns our Sally Horner and Frank LaSalle (her captor) are real people. And in 1948 this story happened. I was blown away. T. Greenwood explains that she has fictionalized the story but has painstakingly worked to maintain the key elements of what happened. What I enjoyed most about this was reading each person's thoughts as they gave up hope, soldiered on, or bore witness to Sally and Frank's odd relationship.
A page-turner that will stand the test of time and become a favorite historical crime thriller.
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