Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Rust & Stardust” as Want to Read:
Rust & Stardust
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Rust & Stardust

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  8,033 ratings  ·  1,808 reviews
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 chillin
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published August 7th 2018 by St. Martin's Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Rust & Stardust, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
T. Greenwood Hi Karen!! Of course, I remember. I was just starting out my career back then, and you were such a bright spot in my day. I still tell the story about…moreHi Karen!! Of course, I remember. I was just starting out my career back then, and you were such a bright spot in my day. I still tell the story about that antique microwave oven you guys had in the break room! XO(less)
T. Greenwood It gives voice to the victim of a horrific true crime. I hope there is much that is redeeming and positive about my interpretation of Sally's story.…moreIt gives voice to the victim of a horrific true crime. I hope there is much that is redeeming and positive about my interpretation of Sally's story.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,033 ratings  ·  1,808 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Rust & Stardust
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Despite the eye-catching cover and the author's lyrical style, this is not a pretty read. In fact, this riveting rendering of the true-crime abduction of a young girl ripped my heart to shreds. The thought-provoking nature of the story, the all too real feelings it incites and the beauty of the author's writing is what makes this one I have to recommend.

If, like me, you haven’t found the time to read Lolita—a novel some have labeled iconic, controversial or even a classic—you might not know it w
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, my-favorites, arcs
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

From the blurb, I read that this was the true crime story that inspired, Vladimir Nabokov's “Lolita”.

But this is not a true-crime story in the traditional sense. I was eager to get started but had no idea what to expect. All I knew was that the book was based on a true story. I had to stop myself from Googling as I read. I wanted to wait until I was finished before I searched for anything about the actual crime.
Kristin (KC)
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
:::5 Stars:::

It ain’t easy being queasy…

Despite (and maybe because of) the fact that I spent the entirety of this harrowing journey staggering on the brink of both vomit and tears, only to be pulled under into an abysmal sea of sadness, I cannot give this book anything less than the five shiny stars it deserves.

RUST & STARDUST is a fictional rendering of the real-life abduction of Sally Horner—an eleven year old child from New Jersey who was kidnapped by a manipulative monster of a man and held
Christina - Recipe & a Read
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5, *rolls up podium, pulls down screen, powers up projector, starts powerpoint presentation* now let me tell you about a magnificent literary masterpiece stars!!!

I think I could've stabbed myself in the eye with a fork and it would've hurt less than this book.

Ok, all jokes aside - this isn't a funny book at all. It's heartbreaking and left me feeling empty and stunned but in awe of Greenwood and her ability in her craft. This is easily the newest member of my favorites shelf and any reader with
Mary Beth
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sally Horner is under peer pressure because she wants to join her friends club and they want her to steal something from the local Woolworths store in Camden, New Jersey. This happened in the 1940's. She decides to steal a composition notebook and doesn't realize that Frank LaSalle is watching her. He was released from prison. Sally is only eleven years old and he abducts Sally, convincing her that he is a F.B.I agent, and can have her arrested in a minute, unless she does what he says.

This is b
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
4.5 stars

Rust & Stardust is based on the real-life kidnapping of 11-year-old Sally Horner, and her kidnapper, in 1948 whose story inspired Vladimir Nabokov to write his controversial and iconic book, Lolita.

After a dare from a group of girls, 11-year-old Sally Horner attempted to steal a notebook from a Woolworths. She was stopped by a man who claimed to be an FBI agent and that she was under arrest. She had no way of knowing that this man was not an FBI agent but an ex-convict by the name of Fr
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
📓 "The world was a terrifying and dangerous place, a world that could convince you to offer up your own child to the devil without even thinking twice." 👧🏻

Rust & Stardust is based on the 1948 kidnapping of 11 yr. old Sally Horner by Frank LaSalle. This story was heartbreaking for me to read as my youngest daughter is 11 yrs. old. Even knowing that this was a work of fiction I couldn't read about Sally's years with her captor and not feel it emotionally. It gutted me, imagining what horror
elena ❀
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sally had read about lighthouses but had never seen one in real life. Lighthouses were made for sailors, the beacons of light to guide them home. She thought about home; maybe this shining light might lead her mother to her. It was foolish, she knew, but the idea brought an odd, momentary comfort.

In Rust & Stardust, we witness Sally Florence Horner become manipulated and brainwashed by a 50-year-old mechanic who has a history of sexually abusing girls, specifically young girls. We ha
5 Amazing & Heart-Wrenching Stars.

Rust & Stardust is a devastating novel based on the real life of Sally Horner, who at the tender age of eleven years old, was abducted by a man named Frank La Salle, who tricked her by claiming to be an FBI agent.

This is a rip your heart out novel that makes your breath catch in your throat and tears fill your eyes time and again.

On a dare from girls at school, Sally Horner attempts to steal a composition notebook from Woolworth’s and is caught by a man who cl
Where do I even begin to review a book as emotionally wrenching as this. I was left numb, speechless and just downright heavy-hearted when I reached the end. A true tragedy, and…innocence lost.

Sally is a young girl growing up with her mother Ella in Camden, New Jersey. All she wants is a good friend. More precisely, to be one of a group of girls she admired and watched become “Blood Sisters.”

At this point most readers, myself included, would probably fore-see something quite terrible heading
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Happy Pub day to this beauty!!! Put this on your radar everyone!! <3 <3.

Rust & Stardust... where do I begin? Oh my gosh 5 huge gut wrenching and beautiful stars!!

Oh my goodness did I cry on this book.... this book was so amazing!

This is my first book that I've read by Greenwood and I honestly am not sure why?! I have 2 others sitting on my kindle and am going to get to them like NOW :).

Greenwood tells a disturbing and heart-breaking story of Sally Horner and her abductor Frank LaSalle. The nov
j e w e l s
May 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-bejeweled

I love great literature that moves you. You know? I mean isn’t that why we read? I want to be moved to cry, moved to think, moved to care. 2018 has been a banner blue ribbon year for the psychological suspense novel and now we have a crowning jewel of a book that crosses all the genres.

Rust & Stardust is unusual. If you’ve read any reviews, you’ve heard already this a sad story. Yes, it is absolutely heartbreaking. I can’t even describe how much your soul will ache. BUT
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I hesitated to read this book because of the subject matter but I'm glad that I did. Eleven year old Sally Horner steals a notebook and is convinced by a former convict, Frank, that he is an FBI agent and he's her only way to stay out of prison. For the next two years, Frank mentally, physically, sexually, and emotionally assaults Sally while they hide from those who are looking for her. This story is actually based on what happened to a real life Sally Horner and the story is heartbreaking.

Jan 21, 2018 rated it liked it

my monster roots are showing again. i am in the lonesome minority with this book, which has moved everyone but me to tears and praise. don’t get me wrong, i did not dislike it, but 1) i never rarely cry at books, and 2) my tastes run darker than this book.

“but…it’s about the kidnapping and abuse of sally horner, the 11-year-old girl nabokov wrote that book about. is that not dark??”

yes, that’s true. and while the subject matter is horrifying, the treatment of it is not. the use
Nilufer Ozmekik
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I haven’t shaken to the core and read something so scary, disturbing, heart breaking. This…. Oh my Gosh… I have to gather my thoughts but I’m so shaky, pissed off, emotional right now… Cursing, crying, murmuring some meaningless words, worse than Gibberish… I feel so much right now but I don’t know how I can pour down my feelings to my writing. THIS BOOK IS TOO MUCH! It makes you feel, bleed and fills you with so much anger. It’s fantastic masterpiece but it’s so dark, depressing, sad work absor ...more
Rust & Stardust by T. Greenwood is a 2018 St. Martin’s Press publication.

Rarely do I happen to read a non-fictional account of a book before I read the fictionalized version. Usually, it is the other way around. However, I requested this book and ‘The Real Lolita” at the same time from the library, and as fate would have it, the true crime book became available first.

This book had a very long ‘hold’ period, so I was caught off guard when It suddenly became available, a couple of weeks after I f
Holly  B

Had to finish, had to know

I’m not going to have the words to describe how heart-broken I was the WHOLE time I was reading this book. The writing flowed so perfectly, I couldn’t pull myself away from the story. I adored the little girl, Sally and was terrified for her. I wanted to hear her voice, this was her voice.

Based on the true kidnapping of 11-year-old Florence “Sally” Horner by the 52-year-old monster, Frank LaSalle. I did some research after I finished this novel and was able to read s
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Little Sally Horner sitting on a corner. Except Sally is not Jack and this is no nursery rhyme. Instead this is a horrific and tragic story of the abduction of an 11 year old girl in 1948. This is based on the true story where Sally is given voice of who she may have been and how she survived an experience that would shape her life drastically as well as those who knew her.

This is not an easy read -
It’s disturbing as this child was molested repeatedly. But, there are relationships that bring a d
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Upfront. First thing - I am recommending this book. It is a well developed story about a horrible event. But it is a difficult read. Sadness, anger, depression, impatience become the readers constant companions during this reading.
T. Greenwood calmly and clearly chronicles a child abduction. Step by step we are led through the events that wrest a young girl from her home to life on the road with a drunken pedophile. Each step could have turned out differently. This is the “gut wrenchingness” of
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
‘and the rest is rust and stardust.’
- vladimir nabokov, lolita

everyone has heard of ‘lolita,’ one of the most iconic and controversial novels of the 20th century. but not everyone has heard of the real life events which propelled the story of lolita into motion.

sally horner was an 11-year-old girl who was kidnapped and held by a convicted sex offender for nearly two years, taking her from new jersey all the way to california.

this book is about sally, her innocence and loss thereof, the motivat
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
5 sensitive stars to Rust & Stardust! 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 And Happy Publication Day!

Even though I knew this would be a heart-rending book, I trusted Greenwood to write in a respectful way without being sensationally graphic, and somehow, even knowing the devastating ending ahead of time, there were peeks of hope that kept this from being an overwhelmingly bleak book.

In Camden, New Jersey in 1948, 11-year old Sally Horner is desperate to be seen and have friendships, to be part of the group. In order to b
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
How do you even write a review for a book that was so harrowing to read but yet so beautiful at the same time?

This book literally shattered me and had me feeling so distressed and left me feeling completely numb in the end. Sally Horner will be forever in my heart and never forgotten!

I am so glad though that I had the pleasure of reading Sally Horner’s horrific story even though it was absolutely heartbreaking, T. Greenwood handles the tough subject matter with such grace and care. She is an ab
JanB(on vacation till October)
Aug 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
4.5 stars, rounded up

First off, I apologize in advance for my wordy review, but there were some things I just had to say!

It was 1948 when 11-year-old Sally Horner, desperate to fit in, accepted a dare from the popular girls to shoplift something from a Woolworth’s store. She took a 5 cent notebook and was grabbed on her way out by Frank La Salle. He told her he was an FBI agent and she was under arrest, but if she did as he directed he could keep her out of prison. Terrified, Sally followed his
Based on the premise of this story, I kept putting off listening to this audiobook because I was terrified of what I might hear, until one reviewer assured that, although disturbing with implied actions, this book doesn't contain graphic sexual content.

It was time.

Author T. Greenwood took this 1948 true crime and wrote a heart-wrenching story about Sally Horner, an 11-year old girl who was abducted by convicted child molester, Frank LaSalle, and suffered from his physical, mental and sexual abus
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"She curled herself into a ball and imagined she was made not of bones but of sticks. Twigs. Gnarled and brittle limbs broken off from their roots. She and the tumbleweeds were no different, both of them at the whim of a terrible wind."

I'll preface this review by saying that Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov is my favorite book thus this story by T. Greenwood was a must-read for me. Rust and Stardust is a fictional rendering of the real-life kidnapping of eleven year old Sally Horner in 1948. This case
4.5 Stars.

Oh. My. Gosh......Heartbreaking.

June, 1948....Lonely at age 11, all Florence "Sally" Horner wanted was join the secret girl's club, but her initiation at Woolworth's proves disastrous as a predator is watching and preparing to make his move....take his next victim.

Based on a true life kidnapping, RUST AND STARDUST is an "imagined rendering" of what might have actually happened during the two years Sally spent with a disgusting slithering perve

Elyse  Walters
May 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
“He touched her face, and her body stiffened”.
“Don’t worry about your mama, Sally. They’ll forget about you soon. It’ll be like you never was”.

Oh please.......the storytelling - *Fiction Scenarios* - we are asked to believe were so far fetched....I found myself hysterically laughing reading pages of this NOVEL to my husband. It was my gut reaction! I started this book with high hopes too—expecting first class reading as so many of my friends on the Goodreads train felt. But I just couldn’t buy
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
4.5 stars! Heart-wrenching and unforgettable.

This novel is based on the real-life story of eleven-year-old Sally Horner who, in 1948, was kidnapped and held captive for two years, physically and mentally assaulted by known convict Frank LaSalle.

This is not an easy story to read. I found myself holding my breathe several times as I read through the harrowing and traumatic situations young Sally endured. She was a bright and vibrant child who fell into the hands of a predator who stripped her of
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
On a dare, eleven year old Sally Horner steals a notebook from the Camden, New Jersey local five and dime store and winds up the victim of a serial pedophile recently released from prison and on the run from the authorities. For two years Sally is molested, transported across the country and terrified to tell anyone about her appalling plight. She attends school and lives among others in various trailer parks and hovels but even those suspicious of her situation are unable to act on her behalf. ...more
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
"Not even the brightest future can make up for the fact that no roads lead back to what came before-to the innocence of childhood or the first time we fell in love." Jo Nesbo

Most parents cherish their children's innocence. They long to preserve it as long as possible, and let their child feel that sense of wonder, that sense of awe, that sense of things being right with the world. Think back to the time when your child came home to say someone had told them Santa was not real. Remember that pain
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Please add page number 3 15 Dec 08, 2019 05:54AM  
Around the Year i...: Rust & Stardust, by T. Greenwood 1 9 May 23, 2019 05:11AM  
Play Book Tag: Rust & Stardust: Sally Horner's Story 2 17 Jan 07, 2019 04:39AM  
Play Book Tag: Rust and Stardust by T. Greenwood - 4 1/2 stars 1 17 Aug 30, 2018 08:17AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Hidden Pictures
  • The Inmate
  • Ask for Andrea
  • The Overnight Guest
  • Notes on an Execution
  • The Groomer
  • Saving Noah
  • Our Little World
  • What Happened to the Bennetts
  • The New House
  • A Flicker in the Dark
  • Creep (Creep #1)
  • The Children on the Hill
  • Plastic Monsters
  • Good Husbands
  • These Silent Woods
  • Brother
  • The Surrogate Mother
See similar books…
See top shelves…
T. Greenwood is the author of thirteen novels. She has received grants from the Sherwood Anderson Foundation, the Christopher Isherwood Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and, most recently, the Maryland State Arts Council. She has won four San Diego Book Awards. Five of her novels have been BookSense76/IndieBound picks. BODIES OF WATER was finalist for a Lambda Foundation award. Her ...more

Articles featuring this book

Need another excuse to go to the bookstore this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our list,...
38 likes · 19 comments
“How sad was it that grief had a shelf life, he thought. It’s only fresh and raw for so long before it begins to spoil. And soon enough, it would be replaced by a newer, brighter heartache - the old one discarded and eventually forgotten. ” 10 likes
“How could it be, how was it possible, when she felt like she was so far away, that the sky was the same?” 1 likes
More quotes…