MLA Platinum Award Press Release

BookBrowse Reviews Rust & Stardust by T Greenwood

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Rust & Stardust

by T Greenwood

Rust & Stardust by T Greenwood X
Rust & Stardust by T Greenwood
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
    Aug 2018, 368 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Natalie Vaynberg
Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


Based on the experiences of real-life kidnapping victim Sally Horner and her captor, T. Greenwood at last gives a voice to Sally herself.

Highly readable and tightly plotted, T. Greenwood's Rust and Stardust achieves the perfect balance between fact and fiction. The story is meticulously researched, yet it never lets its grip on the reader go, never falls so deeply into factual detail that it loses momentum.

In 1948, 11-year-old Sally Horner does something out of character – she tries to steal a notebook from her local Woolworth's in order to make friends. Unfortunately for her, it's not the law but a known child molester who takes note of her actions. Frank LaSalle quickly seizes on the opportunity to hoodwink Sally, telling her he is an FBI agent who must now take her into custody. What follows is Sally's tragic, 21-month ordeal as she is dragged from her home in Camden, New Jersey all the way to San Jose, California, the shreds of her innocence trailing behind.

Although this is a story of true darkness, Greenwood manages to unearth sparks of light to help Sally find her way. She makes friends with neighbors and teachers, gathers scraps of comfort in her love of reading and learning, and somehow keeps faith alive that she will make it back home. These fictional details transform Rust and Stardust from something heavy and discomfiting into a narrative of hope.

Greenwood's style is simple and straightforward. Her sentences are surprisingly powerful, given that they are so spare. Much like Sally's taciturn mother, Ella, the novel is full of unspoken feeling and brimming with love. Greenwood cares about these people about whom she writes and she wants you to care about them too. In fact, almost every person in Sally's life is given a voice. In just a few short pages, they tell their stories completely. You know them briefly, but you do know them. Yet Frank LaSalle, Sally's captor and torturer, is a large, looming silence. His own motives remain hidden in shadows, and the full depths of his evil are never fully revealed.

There is only one short-coming in this novel. Because each chapter is devoted to a different character, and each is so short, it can be difficult to switch focus with such rapidity. Just as you are reeling from the events in one person's life, you are quickly thrown into the turmoil with which another is burdened. It is disorienting and often takes away the chance to linger on a feeling.

Melancholy, yet strangely luminous, Rust and Stardust is a beautiful feat. T. Greenwood does Sally Horner's story justice and brings her to life as never before. No longer is she the shadow behind Nabokov's Lolita (see Beyond the Book), but instead a heartbreaking heroine in her own right.

Reviewed by Natalie Vaynberg

This review is from the September 19, 2018 issue of BookBrowse Recommends. Click here to go to this issue.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for 3 months or $12 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Revisioners
    The Revisioners
    by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
    The chapters of Margaret Wilkerson Sexton's second novel, The Revisioners, alternate between three ...
  • Book Jacket: Mary Toft; or, The Rabbit Queen
    Mary Toft; or, The Rabbit Queen
    by Dexter Palmer
    The year is 1726 and the sleepy town of Godalming has been rocked by scandal. Called to the bedside ...
  • Book Jacket: Life Undercover
    Life Undercover
    by Amaryllis Fox
    Life Undercover, a riveting true-adventure memoir, reveals how and why a young woman decides to work...
  • Book Jacket: Celestial Bodies
    Celestial Bodies
    by Jokha Alharthi
    One typically expects to find a detailed family tree adorning the opening pages of, say, an epic ...

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Lost Man
by Jane Harper

"Strong characters, riveting plot and an honest look at life in the Australian outback make it easy to give this 5-stars!"
—BookBrowse

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Welcome to the Pine Away Motel and Cabins
    by Katarina Bivald

    A heartwarming story of love, friendship, and the art of living.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Lady Clementine
    by Marie Benedict

    An illuminating look at one of history's most unusual and extraordinary women, Clementine Churchill.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Giveaway!
Win American Dirt

"A Grapes of Wrath for our times." - Don Winslow

This debut is already being hailed as a new American classic, and is the first book to receive a perfect 5-stars from BookBrowse reviewers!

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

V I T S Of L

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.