Friday, October 19, 2012

Silhouette of a Sparrow by Molly Beth Griffin

In the summer of 1926, sixteen-year-old Garnet Richardson is sent to a lake resort to escape the polio epidemic in the city. She dreams of indulging her passion for ornithology and visiting the famous new amusement park--a summer of fun before she returns for her final year of high school, after which she’s expected to marry a nice boy and settle into middle-class homemaking. But in the country, Garnet finds herself under the supervision of equally oppressive guardians--her father’s wealthy cousin and the matron’s stuck-up daughter. Only a liberating job in a hat shop, an intense, secret relationship with a daring and beautiful flapper, and a deep faith in her own fierce heart can save her from the suffocating boredom of traditional femininity.
Silhouette of a Sparrow is a coming-of-age story about a search for wildness in a confining time, and a simultaneous quest for security in an era full of unrest. It is the tale of a young woman’s discovery of the science of risk and the art of rebellion, and of course, the power of unexpected love.

Publisher: Milkweed 
Number of Pages: 224
Type: Hardcover

Reviewed by Rachel, age 17
Silhouette of Sparrow takes place in the 1920's in Excelsior, Minnesota. It was so cool to read and then be able to go down there myself and see how different it is today! Much more magical back then, I'll say. Griffin did a great job of depicting the lifestyle and expectations young women had back then and incorporating that into a beautiful coming of age story. The story was full of nature, history and problems that teens are still going through today just in different ways! We all feel pressured to choose the right path and do the right thing in our teen years, but I'll admit I'm glad I don't have as many high-stakes decisions that Garnet has! 
Speaking of Garnet, she is a wonderful main character. She cares about her family and friends and wants to impress them, but she also has her own expectations for herself. She's a bird lover and would rather have a job and attend college than settle down to marry and become the same woman as every other girl around her. After meeting Isabella, she realizes there is a happy medium between striving for what she loves and caring for who she loves at the same time. 
This is a quick but thoughtful read and I'd recommend you adding it to your reading pile if you like the 1920's era! It's packed with beautiful detail (Garnet is so curious, she notices everything!), but I liked how the story went forward fast (it was paced very well!) and I especially liked the short chapters. I always feel more accomplished when I finish a chapter, haha! 
As far as things I didn't like, there wasn't much except I felt that towards the end the consequences were a little underdeveloped. I felt like the book wrapped up too quickly and there was a lot still to unfold.
To conclude, Silhouette of a Sparrow is a great book for historical fiction lovers and anyone in the mood for a quick but enduring coming of age story! Garnet is truly a unique main character!

This book is in stores now! 
Buy Hardcover

Happy reading!
Rachel, age 17

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