Silver Sparrow

Silver Sparrow : From the Winner of the Women's Prize for Fiction, 2019

3.92 (35,274 ratings by Goodreads)
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A breathtaking tale of family secrets, from the international bestselling author of An American Marriage




'My father, James Witherspoon, is a bigamist.'


Dana and Chaurisse are sisters, bound together by the life-changing secret of their father's double life.


Only one of them knows the truth. When they do finally meet and form a friendship, the fragile balance of ignorance and silence that has kept James' secrets safe for so long threatens to explode.


This soulful story of friendship and sisterhood paints an unforgettable picture of the messy knots that bind families together, from the prize-winning author of An American Marriage.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 368 pages
  • 153 x 234 x 32mm | 718g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 9781786077967
  • 480,560

Review Text

'Compelling... It's hard to resist the momentum of this dual coming-of-age story, and Jones's imperfect, large-hearted heroines are not soon forgotten.'

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Review quote

'Compelling... It's hard to resist the momentum of this dual coming-of-age story, and Jones's imperfect, large-hearted heroines are not soon forgotten.' * Observer * 'Jones'.. latest novel also studies a way of loving, and of being a family, that doesn't fit the confines that American society allows or expects.' * Spectator * 'Bigamy is what gives the novel its dramatic impetus, but it's the double coming-of-age story that gives it heart... [A] shrewd exploration of off-the-record relationships.' * Sunday Telegraph * 'This book is as moving, intimate and wise as An American Marriage on the topics of marriage, family and womanhood, and deserves similar acclaim.' * Guardian * 'Do not miss this can't-actually-stop-reading-it novel (out 19 March) from the author of the Women's Prize for Fiction-winning An American Marriage. Opening with the instantly gripping sentence: "My father, James Witherspoon, is a bigamist," it's the story of two sisters - Dana and Chaurisse - one whom knows her father's secret and one who doesn't. Told from both their points of view, this is a book about love and belonging, family and secrets and a reminder that we all have our own take on things: rightly or wrongly.' * Stylist * 'Jones conjures up 1980s Atlanta with conviction and has a pungently descriptive turn of phrase... Best of all, you feel utterly immersed in Jones's knotty moral dilemma and as torn in your loyalties as the characters themselves.' * The Times * 'Jones writes in a relaxed narrative style... She moves easily from depictions of Atlanta between the 1960s and the 1980s to the frustrations of teenage life and handles larger questions of birth right and belonging with admirable capaciousness and generosity.' * Financial Times * 'One of my go-to recommendations to friends and family looking for something to read. It's a story about a complicated family centring on two half-sisters, one who knows the other exists and the other who has no clue. A propulsive, unforgettable read about the complexity of family.' -- Brit Bennett, author of The Vanishing Half 'Last year's winner of the Women's Prize for Fiction follows up An American Marriage with another beautiful novel.' * Good Housekeeping * 'Jones' characters have depth and soul as she scathingly shatters the illusion that your parents can always be relied upon... it has a dignity and assurance to it that's quite intense.' * Herald, Scotland * 'Heartbreaking... Silver Sparrow confirms Jones' immense talent, particularly when writing about the more extreme pressures of family life.' * i newspaper * 'Beautiful.' * The Spectator * 'How does Tayari Jones follow up the Women's Prize-winning success of An American Marriage? With an absolute belter, that's how.' * Red Magazine * 'An affecting story about family, love and marriage.' * Radio Times * 'This dazzlingly real novel shines light into the emotional lives of women: married, on their own, betrayed, battling for something better.' * Sainsbury's Magazine * 'Sparky, sharp, sorrowful.' * Sunday Express * 'A book rich in complications and secrets...The nature of love is one of Jones's central themes, and it's testament to her gifts that we care equally about both girls.' * Daily Mail * 'Cleverly structured, emotionally punchy.' -- Daily Telegraph 'A love story... Full of perverse wisdom and proud joy... Jones's skill for wry understatement never wavers.' * O: The Oprah Magazine * 'Wise to the thorny complexities of race and class... Admirably clear-eyed.' * Metro * 'Charting a vast emotional unknown is Tayari Jones's compelling third novel, Silver Sparrow, in which a teenage girl's coming of age in 1980s Atlanta is shadowed by her dawning understanding of a corrosive secret - her father's second family.' * Vogue * '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.' * Judy Blume * 'One of those 'just one more chapter' kind of books that require much last-minute changing of plans, because real life feels far less amusing, appalling, shocking, and loving than the world of its characters.' * Slate * 'An exciting read all the way through.' * Chicago Tribune * 'Tayari Jones has taken Atlanta for her literary terroir, and like many of our finest novelists, she gives readers a sense of place in a deeply observed way. But more than that, Jones has created in her main characters tour guides of that region: honest, hurt, observant and compelling young women whose voices cannot be ignored... Impossible to put down.' * Los Angeles Times * 'Populating this absorbing novel is a vivid cast of characters, each with his own story... Jones writes dialogue that is realistic and sparkling, with an intuitive sense of how much to reveal and when.' * Washington Post * 'Jones beautifully evokes Atlanta in the 1980s while creating gritty, imperfect characters whose pain lingers in the reader's heart.' * Kirkus * 'A graceful and shining work about finding the truth.' * Library Journal (starred review) * 'Award winner Tayari Jones weaves a tale of Black bigamy and two families in the fascinating fiction of Silver Sparrow.' * Ebony * 'Silver Sparrow grabs you with a first sentence that manages to be both matter of fact and mysterious and refuses to release you until she has finished a story that takes you deep into the lives of a family that is anything but ordinary.' * Pearl Cleage, author of Till You Hear from Me * 'Silver Sparrow is rich, substantive, meaningful. It is also, at turns, funny and sharp, haunting and heartbreaking.' * The Root * 'Jones's prose is chock-full of lyricism, grace and wisdom.' * Observer * 'Cleverly structured, emotionally punchy.' -- Daily Telegraph 'Populating this absorbing novel is a vivid cast of characters... One of literature's most intriguing extended families.' * Washington Post * 'Jones is very good with character, catching the whole texture of a life in a phrase or two.' * Sunday Times * 'Full of perverse wisdom and proud joy... Jones's skill for wry understatement never wavers.' * O: The Oprah Magazine * 'A bruising, uneasy read at times, Jones' characters have depth and soul.' * My Weekly * 'Makes good use of multiple viewpoints and deals in the universal themes of love and trust.' * Fit and Well * 'Tayari fast becoming one of the most revered American writers of her generation.' -- Irish Independent 'Another unputdownable dissection of the human heart and head. The headline-grabber is its portrayal of bigamy, but more affecting is the tender coming of age daughter's tale unfolding inside this unorthodox family.' -- Big Issue, Books of the Year 2020 'Jones is incredibly insightful... both books explore almost morally ambiguous situations where there is no right or wrong.' -- Rachel Wood, Rare Bird Book Club
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About Tayari Jones

Tayari Jones is the internationally bestselling author of four novels, most recently An American Marriage, winner of the Women's Prize for Fiction 2019. Jones is the recipient of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, a United States Artist Fellowship, NEA Fellowship and a Radcliffe Institute Bunting Fellowship. She is also a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Born in Atlanta, Jones is a graduate of Spelman College, University of Iowa, and Arizona State University. She is currently professor of Creative Writing at Emory University and an Andrew Dickson White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University.
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Rating details

35,274 ratings
3.92 out of 5 stars
5 24% (8,624)
4 47% (16,732)
3 24% (8,413)
2 4% (1,306)
1 1% (199)
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