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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Star of Flint by Jill Smith Entrekin

Star of Flint by Jill Smith Entrekin
Room 272 Press
ISBN: 9780615563244
Published Nov 30, 2011
Large format paperback, 240 pages

Jill Smith Entrekin is a wonderful storyteller! This character-driven novel tells the coming-of-age story of two sister in Flintville, Georgia in the 1960s. Alison (Allie) Sinclair is a ten-year old outspoken tomboy, whereas her sister Cecelia (Cece) is a pretty fourteen year-old teen who is sensitive and has the talent for painting. The sisters are close, and their relationship cements as the years go by and they experience their share of grief and loss. It's a book that celebrates sisterhood and family. I really loved this theme in the story.

This book made me laugh and it made me cry. And of course, the Southern flavor in the dialogue and setting added to my enjoyment of this novel. Allie is a strong female character, but she is also vulnerable, which brought out my compassion when she messed up at one point. I loved watching her grow up and deal with all the things life threw at her. She made me laugh. She was spunky and smart. Cece was so different from Allie, but she understood her sister so well and was there when she needed her. Cece had a more delicate nature with inner strength. I ached for her at times. The cast of characters is wonderful, from loving Diddy to self-sacrificing Aunt Bird and intuitive Berthie.

The synopsis focuses on a shocking secret that Allie discovers that ignites an explosive chain of events a decade later. But in reality, Allie discovers only clues that foreshadow what will eventually lead to the uncovering of a shocking secret much later in her life. The author spends a lot of time building the characters and their life from children to young women that the mystery is really in the background. However, we become invested in these characters because we get to know them intimately so that the shocking secret touches us too. The secret is not their story. Their sisterhood is.

When Allie becomes a teenager there are several scenes with drinking and dirty talk with guys, one of whom is a homosexual. I didn't care for these scenes, which bogged down the story for me, or some of the crude language. I know guys can talk that way, but I don't necessarily want to read it. Also, the large format of the book (7 x 10 inches) was odd for a novel and hard to carry around. I loved the book cover though.

This author's debut is a great and promising start. She can sure spin a wonderful story! If you love Southern tales this one will definitely please.

Note: This book is rated P = profanity. There are 4 f-words, plenty of religious expletives and crude language, especially relating to sex.
I will count this book toward the following challenge: What's in a Name 5 

Reviewed by Laura

Disclosure: Thanks to the author for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

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