Florence “Sally” Horner just wants to fit in. When a few of the girls from her class dare her to steal from Woolworth’s – if she does, she can join their exclusive club – Sally reluctantly takes a notebook. Only on her way out, she’s caught by a man claiming to be FBI agent Frank LaSalle. She knows she doesn’t want to go to jail, and she really doesn’t want her mother to find out, so Sally follows Frank’s list of demands…
Rust & Stardust by T. Greenwood is the fictionalization of the crime that inspired Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita. Sally’s story is heartbreaking, but Greenwood’s storytelling is wonderful. At its heart, this is a painful, chilling novel about the abduction of an eleven year old girl. It’s also a thoughtful coming of age novel, one played out within the most vicious of circumstances. Told from Sally’s perspective, and that of her family, we slowly learn what survival cost her, and what it cost the family she left behind. It’s a fantastic piece of historical fiction with a literary, true crime* connection.
*I am so thankful I didn’t give in to my natural impulse to learn about Sally Horner’s life before I read the novel. If you plan on reading this one, try to resist the urge to google. I also received a review copy of this novel in exchange for my honest opinion (via Netgalley).
2 thoughts on “Rust & Stardust // T. Greenwood”
hahaha Great advice. I wish I had been able to keep off of Wiki.
I’m so ignorant I didn’t even know Lolita was inspired by a true story. I’m putting this one on hold at the library and avoiding Google!