"My father, James Witherspoon, is a bigamist. He was already married ten years when he first clamped eyes on my mother."
This is the first line of Silver Sparrow. And so begins the story of deception, infidelity, secret lives, and a complex family. James Witherspoon is living a double life; he has a secret family and a public one. The story is told from the viewpoint of two girls who are caught in the middle. Dana Lynn Yarboro is the secret daughter. She knows all about Bunny Chaurisse Witherspoon, her legitimate sister. Other characters hog-tied in the mix are the two mothers, the grandmother, and Uncle Raleigh. It is only a matter of time before secrets are revealed, feelings are hurt, and the worlds explode when the two daughters meet and become friends.
Part One is told by Dana. We see her point of view as the secret, hidden daughter. The beautiful young girl wants for nothing except a regular life. A life where she isn't in second place. A life where she can proudly and publicly express who her father is. A life where she isn't surveilling with her mother, Gwen. And a life where she isn't denied privileges.
Part Two is told by Chaurisse, the public daughter. She isn't pretty, but she has her father's love. "Buttercup" is not aware of her father's deception. Neither is her mother, Laverne. She is unaware that the world really does revolve around her. Secrets are held and feelings are hurt all to protect Chaurisse.
Silver Sparrow is definitely one of my favorite books of the year. As I got closer to the end, I read extra slow because I didn't want the story to end. Yes, it is that good! I got lost in the lives of characters, escaping from my own world while observing the world of a bigamist. The effects of James Witherspoon's and Uncle Raleigh's actions stay with me long after I've turned the last e-page. This is my first book read by author Tayari Jones and certainly will not be my last. Her exceptional writing skills and well-paced story telling style is fresh, powerful and capturing. Add Silver Sparrow to your wish list or purchase.