Summary and book reviews of Rust & Stardust by T Greenwood

Rust & Stardust

by T Greenwood

Rust & Stardust by T Greenwood X
Rust & Stardust by T Greenwood
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     Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
    Aug 2018, 368 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Natalie Vaynberg

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About this Book

Book Summary

Based on the experiences of real-life kidnapping victim Sally Horner and her captor, whose story shocked the nation and inspired Vladimir Nabokov to write his controversial and iconic Lolita.

Camden, NJ, 1948. When 11 year-old Sally Horner steals a notebook from the local Woolworth's, she has no way of knowing that 52 year-old Frank LaSalle, fresh out of prison, is watching her, preparing to make his move. Accosting her outside the store, Frank convinces Sally that he's an FBI agent who can have her arrested in a minute - unless she does as he says.

This chilling novel traces the next two harrowing years as Frank mentally and physically assaults Sally while the two of them travel westward from Camden to San Jose, forever altering not only her life, but the lives of her family, friends, and those she meets along the way.

Based on the experiences of real-life kidnapping victim Sally Horner and her captor, whose story shocked the nation and inspired Vladimir Nabokov to write his controversial and iconic Lolita, this heart-pounding story by award-winning author T. Greenwood at last gives a voice to Sally herself.

SALLY

The girls at school had a club, a secret club with secret rules. Beyond the playground under the trees' dark leaves, they pressed their fathers' stolen blades against their plump thumbs, watched the blood bead before pressing their flesh together and swearing loyalty. Sally Horner spied them from the swings where she dragged her shoes in the dirt, her fingers pinched by the chains. She studied them as they stood in a circle, sucking the metallic blood, tongues working over those important wounds. She strained to hear their whispered oath, this sisterhood spell. Mesmerized.

At lunch later, she peered at them from the table in the cafeteria where she normally sat alone, nibbling at her butter sandwich or peeling back the golden skin of her butterscotch pudding. But her need to understand what sort of coven had been formed underneath those red oaks was irresistible, though it took her nearly ten minutes to pick up her lunch tray, go to their table, and speak to them.

"Mind ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

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.   (Reviewed by Natalie Vaynberg).

Full Review Members Only (443 words).

Media Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
It's true that Sally's world comes vividly to life. But the book is absolutely stuffed with detail and scenes that don't move the plot forward, and what should be a breath-holding suspense novel requires a great deal of effort to move through. An overlong journey through a stranger-than-fiction life.

Publishers Weekly
Riveting suspense...Grace touches this dark tale...Greenwood's story will spellbind readers.

Booklist
Starred Review. A beautifully written, unnerving tragedy woven from equal measures of hope and menace.

Library Journal
Starred Review. Heartrending...Readers who relish novels based on true events will be both riveted and disturbed by this retelling of one of America's most famous abduction cases.

Author Blurb Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You and Cruel Beautiful World
"Shatteringly original and eloquently written...So ferociously suspenseful, I found myself holding my breath.

Author Blurb Bryn Greenwood, author of the New York Times bestseller All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
Unflinching but compassionate, Greenwood deftly unravels the devastating layers of malice and carelessness that tore Sally from her family, but also the love and perseverance that eventually brought her home.

Author Blurb Edan Lepucki, New York Times bestselling author of California and Woman No. 17
A riveting and thoughtful exploration of how the dark secrets of a terrible crime affect and hurt so many - and how light and hope persist in the face of such horrors. Greenwood writes with such compassion and feeling, and she is such a confident, skillful storyteller, that you'll stay up late to find out the fates of her memorable, beautiful characters.

Author Blurb Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Girl
A harrowing, ripped-from-the-headlines story of lives altered in the blink of an eye, once again proving her eloquence and dexterity as an author.

Author Blurb Jillian Cantor, author of Margot
A lyrical and haunting meditation on family, love, and survival, this novel - and Sally Horner - stayed with me long after I turned the last page.

Author Blurb Amy Hatvany, author of Best Kept Secret and It Happens All the Time
Greenwood is unmatched in her innate ability to weave lush, poetic language into a riveting story that hooks the reader from page one.

Reader Reviews

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Beyond the Book

Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita

Sally HornerIt would be hard to dispute that Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita mirrors the true story of Sally Horner. Nabokov's character Humbert Humbert is quite similar to Frank LaSalle, the real kidnapper, and Dolores "Lolita" Haze bears similarities to Sally. Both men spirited the young girls away across the country. Yet Nabokov's fictional story has fascinated and ignited audiences for over sixty years, while Sally Horner's true story was forgotten by the public almost as soon as it was revealed. If Sally inspired Dolores, then why did the imaginary girl receive such loyalty and outrage, while the real child was lost in the annals of history?

The answer may lie in Nabokov's very struggle to produce his unforgettable novel.

Sally Horner was hardly ...

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Readalikes

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