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368 pages, Hardcover
First published August 7, 2018
"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."
"How sad it is that grief has a shelf life … It’s only fresh and raw for so long before it begins to spoil. And soon enough, it will be replaced by a newer, brighter heartache—the old one discarded and eventually forgotten."
"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 at the whim of a terrible wind."
"Poor Sally, this moonfaced girl with dull hair and pale eyes; so plump and earnest. So eager to please. What would become of this girl?"
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.
She knew that it was easy to forget people once they were gone.
She was braver now; it showed in every loop and letter. She never went back to the early pages; it was too painful to reread the musings of her eleven-year-old self. Too difficult to see how stupid she'd been. How hopeful.
Her life had been filled with thieves. How did she not see this coming? Though this man had hardly stolen Sally. Ella had practically given her to him, handed her over as easily and stupidly as she handed the beautiful blue marble to the boy who plucked it from her palm and put it in his pocket.
Everyone knew who she was. Everyone knew what Frank La Salle had done to her. Yet no one said a word. It was as if they all shared the same awful secret. But she could feel it in the way their gazes held too long: the girls assessing, and the boys? God only knows what they were thinking.
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.
Florence Fogg, what an odd little girl, and what an odd name, like something from a novel. Like an imaginary girl.
Of course, by then it had become her mission to save girls like Florence, like Sally, the ones with secrets in the art of detecting sorrow. She also learned that the way to protest those poor lambs was not by whis[ering her suspicions to whatever priest sat on the other side of the latticed confessional wall.
Oh. My. Gosh......Heartbreaking.
June, 1948....Lonely at age 11, all Florence "Sally" Horner wanted was friends....to belong....to 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 snake...sex pervert...lier and destroyer of the young and innocent.
After finishing the novel, I did a bit of research....found the staged swing photo....read more about Sally's family and discovered so much of this story is indeed factual. Great job by T. Greenwood to bring her story to life and to our attention. (Nabokov's classic, LOLITA was also inspired by the life of Sally Horner.)
Many thanks to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for the ARC coming August 7, 2018 in exchange for my review.