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Rust & Stardust

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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 chilling 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 chilling novel traces the next two harrowing years as Frank mentally and physically assaults Sally while the two of them travel westward from Camden to San Jose, forever altering not only her life, but the lives of her family, friends, and those she meets along the way.


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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 chilling 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 chilling novel traces the next two harrowing years as Frank mentally and physically assaults Sally while the two of them travel westward from Camden to San Jose, forever altering not only her life, but the lives of her family, friends, and those she meets along the way.

30 review for Rust & Stardust

  1. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    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 make 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 was the ac 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 make 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 was the actual true-crime abduction of an 11-year-old girl by a pedophile that fueled Vladimir Nabokov’s inspiration. Intrigued by Nabokov’s muse of sorts and the actual abduction, T. Greenwood gives that innocent young girl and her family a voice in this fictional novel, using her imagination to fill the voids the unknowns inhabit and adding heart and hope with the creation of her own characters. This is Florence Sally Horner’s story—or a sizable chunk of it, anyway. I think it’s safe to say, at one time or another, we’ve all experienced the aching need to belong. Sometimes trying to form a connection with a group of peers—whether they’re worthy or not—leads us to do things we know in our hearts is wrong. Sally Horner lands herself in a conundrum one afternoon in Woolworth’s: steal something to prove her loyalty to a group of girls or risk the new friendships she’s so desperate for. Caught red-handed with a composition book down the front of her shirt 
and abandoned by those so-called friends, a manipulative stranger seizes the opportunity to exploit Sally’s naivety. Frank La Salle's level of trickery and her trusting nature make the narrative all too easy. What adds even more heartbreak to the situation is the role Sally’s own mother plays, falling prey to the con-man herself. Choking on grief from the suicide of her husband, she’s too easily persuaded to allow her daughter to be chaperoned to the Jersey shore by a complete stranger. Or even worse, made to believe for the first few months that Sally is not only happily enjoying the beach, but reluctant to leave. Subjected to physical, mental and sexual abuse at the hands of Frank La Salle, it's not easy to stomach Sally's reality. T. Greenwood delivers her harrowing account of Sally’s life on the road with an unwavering intensity. Through alternating perspectives, she not only explores the young girl's feelings, but the havoc guilt and regret wreaks on everyone close to the situation. This poor girl can't catch a break. A set of near misses, dashed hopes and the people unwilling to go that extra step had my blood boiling in frustration. I wanted nothing more than to be able to save Sally—to give her the gumption and strength to run, damn the consequences. I don’t think you can escape the desire to learn more about Florence Sally Horner and the actual events that took place back in 1948, so prepare to do some research when you turn that final page or maybe you won’t even be able to wait that long. Kudos to T. Greenwood for shining a bright light on the young girl who lost so much and for not twisting this into something it could never be, a love story. ***Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for providing a copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.***

  2. 5 out of 5

    Deanna

    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. An ex 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. An excellent read! I was hooked right from the start! Camden, New Jersey (June 1948) 11 year-old Sally Horner is an inquisitive and happy child. She loves learning and even loves going to school, but she has a hard time fitting in. One day she sees the girls at school doing a blood sisters oath. Sally would do anything to be a part of that group. The girls know that Sally wants to be friends with them. They tell her she can be part of the group IF she steals something from Woolworth’s. Sally is hesitant but she follows through, slipping a five-cent black marble composition notebook into her sweater and hurries to leave the store. Sally doesn’t realize that stealing that notebook will change her life forever. 52-year-old Frank LaSalle is just out of prison. He sees Sally steal the notebook and decides to make his move. He claims to be FBI and tells Sally she’ll do as he says …unless she wants to be arrested and taken to jail. Terrified, Sally does as he asks. The chapters alternate between Sally and many other characters. We read about Sally’s time with LaSalle, the places they lived, and the people Sally came in contact with. There are chapters from Sally’s mother, sister, and brother-in-law's point of view. They all struggle with guilt, anger, and blame. So many things could have changed the outcome of this story. “But the even greater mystery, she thought, was Sally herself. What on earth would have made her agree to go with him, this fiend?” This is an extremely chilling, emotional, and heartbreaking story that had me by the throat. I had to take a break now and then, but it wasn’t long before I picked the book back up again. "While the series of events and the settings in which they occur mirror history ”, this is a work of fiction. She dreamed herself into Sally’s life. Events were dramatized, relationships constructed, the sequence of events changed. Though disturbing at times, this was a brilliantly written and intense read that had me Googling for hours once I finished the book. I am really looking forward to reading more from this author. I'd like to thank St. Martin’s books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kristin (KC) - Traveling Sister

    :::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 :::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 captive for two gruesome years. Although the basic structure of this story is largely factual, this is not a biography and is widely embellished with friendships and daily occurrences. But the very real Sally lurks behind these pages, the truth of her story awoken and stretching gently around these words. As one would expect, the content is beyond difficult to read and overflowing with potential emotional triggers, namely physical and mental abuse, so some readers should take caution. However, this author shows the utmost respect for the tragedy endured by sparing readers any graphic detail and using a delicate hand to highlight even the darkest corners of this plot. It was a saving grace--one I normally don't require, but in the case of a child I do not need, nor can I stomach, explicit details. The restraint was merciful and appreciated, and I don't at all feel it weakened or underplayed the depths of what Sally went through. This isn’t a story meant to be enjoyed, but one that has to be told and begs to be heard. And what I heard most was this : "We should do something…” “We gotta do something…” “God, somebody’s got to do something…” “We need to do something about this…” “Somebody’s gotta do something…” “God, please do something…” DO SOMETHING—words spoken repeatedly, and scattered throughout these pages by Sally’s family members, acquaintances, teachers, and even strangers, yet (with the exception of some) too many seemed to do nothing when it came down to it. For me, this was an eyeopening example of how, despite our good intentions, many of us will turn a blind eye and continue on with our lives because it is not “our” tragedy, it’s theirs. We separate ourselves from the pain of others so it doesn't touch us, and then we tell ourselves it’s ok, but it is not. Especially when a child is involved. But the flip side was also conveyed: people who go above and beyond to help. Quiet heroes who have no clue how their single selfless act will continue to inspire goodness in small but steady ripples. We hear from various characters, each touched directly or indirectly by Sally's tragedy, and we see how they’re also scarred with its permenamt marks. Sally’s pain effected me on a level I willed it not to reach and I didn’t want to let this story in. I wanted to remain detached, but I couldn’t. Admittedly, there were moments I wanted to throw in the towel from the overwhelming sadness and from being so painfully disturbed, but the line between fiction and reality began to blur, and closing the book began to feel a lot like turning my back on a little girl who had already been through enough of that. Despite her torment, Sally remained a warrior, and the least I could do was read her story. And as much as my heart broke, I’m so very glad I did. Greenwood’s prose is graceful and eloquent, and just so achingly beautiful I could have cried from her unique arrangement of words alone. She masters the art of storytelling to an unfathomable degree, and here’s some solid proof: "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?" Before this read, I had never heard of Sally Horner. And now I will never forget her. Book Stats: ▪  Genre/Category: Fiction ▪  Characters: Pained and unbearably broken ▪  Plot: A young girl abducted and abused struggles to find a way back home. Various trigger warnings ▪ Writing: Delicate, sparing readers of graphic detail. Beautiful prose ▪ POV: 3rd Person Perspective: multiple characters ▪  Cliffhanger: None. Standalone *Traveling Friends Read*

  4. 5 out of 5

    Christina - Traveling Sister

    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 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 an appreciation for story telling would do well to pick this up. This is a work of historical fiction based off of the real case of Sally Horner and her abductor Frank LaSalle. After her abduction, LaSalle keeps Sally captive convincing her he is an FBI agent and dragging her all over the country as he evades the real FBI for 2 years. Needless to say, but to note for future readers - it's rare that old, creepy men kidnap young girls for reasons that aren't disturbing and traumatizing. These scenes are handled with the utmost care by Greenwood but could be triggering for some readers. Susan woke up that September morning and felt a distinct chill run like ice water down her back. Her first waking thought was of Sally. This is how she'd woken every morning for over a year now. Not with the soft ascent from the depths of a dream but with the sharp bite, that cold blade of the truth. This is the cruelty of grief. The way it gathers strength in the night, blooming again and again and again. There was nothing she could do to combat it other than allow its icy fingers to dig in and then to move on. Greenwoods command of language is nothing short of awe inspiring. For such a terribly heart-wrenching story the beauty of Greenwoods writing skill really shines through. We're given multiple POVs throughout, most notably that of Sally, her mother Ella, her sister and brother-in-law Susan and Al and unlikely friends she makes during her captivity. It was an incredibly clever way to show that while the saying is that it takes a village to raise a child - that same village is also irrevocably changed when tragedy strikes. I was incredibly emotionally invested in this story and following the last line on the last page I delved into further research into the truth behind this work of fiction. I highly suggest not looking into the case if you're unfamiliar with it prior to reading it only if you're interested in being surprised by the ending. It feels crass to call anything in this book a "twist" but it took me by surprise and while I thought my heart had no more room to crumble, apparently I was mistaken. 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. The entire read was very visceral and raw for me. I'd think in most forms of art (and this is a work of art) the goal is to make those interacting with your piece feel something. I can tell you, this book is steeped in emotion. I was left enormously impressed with Greenwood and I look forward to reading further works by her. For such a heartbreaking story, Greenwood honored Sally with this retelling and brought beauty to something so horrendous I wouldn't have thought it possible. I finished this with the Traveling Friends and it seems we have all fallen into the same coulee (which, this is the first time this has happened). It's rare that books live up to the hype, but I'll let all readers know - this absolutely lives up to the reviews. I am one smitten kitten this now gets to sit on my bookshelf.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Debra

    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 o 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 Frank LaSalle who was recently released from prison. He tells Sally if she does not cooperate, she will be in jail, so she does as he says. The Author then takes us through the two years in which Frank LaSalle mentally, physically and sexually abuses Sally. The two of them travel from place to place, moving on when people begin to get suspicious of this single father and his "daughter". Along the way, Sally meets people who are kind to her and who suspect the truth. Frank always seems to be one step ahead and keeps them moving so he is not caught. Sally's mother initially believed that Sally was going on vacation with a friend (she walked her to the bus station and left her with LaSalle!) but soon, the authorities were called in and the real authorities began a search for Sally. This book lets us into Sally's life and we see her fear, her doubt, her loathing, her anger, her resentment, her hope, her strength. She was taken in a time when people were perhaps more trusting, the internet did not exist, Amber alerts did not exist, the harsh realities of depravity were not widely discussed, and children were not warned about pedophiles and teachers were not trained on detecting abuse. This is not a happy book. It is sad and heartbreaking. It is a story about pain, about loss, about innocence lost, about fear, about pain, about abduction, about abuse, about hope and finding home. This book is extremely well written and captivating. I thought the Author did a wonderful and thoughtful job telling the story with such a sensitive subject. The Author's note at the end was very poignant and educational. I love books that cause me to think and feel and boy did I do a lot of thinking and feeling while reading this book. I believe the Author showed tact and caring while telling this girl's (and her family's) story. I received a copy of this book from St. Martin's Press and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. See more of my reviews at www.openbookpost.com

  6. 5 out of 5

    (Bern) Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas

    📓 "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 horr 📓 "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 horrors this girl must have endured at the hands of this vile pedophile. In T. Greenwood's work of historical fiction we are given her imagined renderings of the years Sally spent on the road with her captor. The events were fictional dramatizations, the relationships constructions of her imagination - this is not true crime & it never claims to be. Honestly, as I was reading I wished the whole thing were fictional and that it had never happened to little Sally. This poor lonely girl walked into a Woolworth's to steal something on a dare/initiation from a group of girls she desperately wanted to accept her. Little did she know that there was an ex-con & pedophile watching her who saw his perfect opportunity. Sally was young, gullible and vulnerable. Frank was despicable and preyed on her innocence. This book is not an easy, light hearted read. Yet, Greenwood did add elements of hope to balance out the despair. I enjoyed the elements of hope and love she sprinkled into the book with the people that helped and came to love Sally along the way - Lena, Ruth & Sister Mary Katherine. I couldn't help but hope that the real Sally had some of that in her life during her ordeal. It was beyond frustrating to read how Frank LaSalle always seemed to keep a step ahead of the law. I kept asking myself, how can no one see there is something wrong between them? Why won't Sally say anything? Yet, this really happened and he truly did get away with it for 2 years. So as implausible as some of the scenarios might have seemed - reality is sometimes just as farfetched isn't it? The mental manipulation, threats and physical harm victims are forced to endure in essence make them too afraid to flee or ask for help. The book unfolds via various characters' point of views. We see first hand not only what Sally endures but also the devastation that her kidnapping causes her family. I found the book to be captivating and I spent quite a bit of time googling the real kidnapping so that I could relate what I was reading to what actually occurred. I'm not sure if that was a good or bad thing as it made the book seem all the more real. I was having trouble holding it together at various points while reading. While the book was heart wrenching and even disturbing at times it was also undeniably moving. I was wholeheartedly invested in Sally and wanted nothing more than to be able to save her myself. Even knowing the outcome (I googled the case remember!) I couldn't put the book down - I had to finish it and see it through. One last note that I have to mention - that pin & red ribbon on the cover - it isn't just meant to be eye catching. Once you read the book, you will see it is a meaningful symbol. It broke my heart! I absolutely love the symbolism of the cover. This is definitely a book that will remain with me for a long time. Thank you to T. Greenwood, St. Martin's Press & NetGalley for providing an advance copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kendall

    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 LaSall 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 novels stars off in 1948 with Sally stealing a notebook from Woolworth's in order to impress her friends. Sally is approached by a man outside the store, claiming to be an FBI agent who says he is going to save Sally from prison due to her stealing. For the next two years, Sally is taken across multiple state lines with her captor, Frank LaSalle, and the heart-ache that accompanies Sally through her childhood. Greenwood's words flow so beautifully across the pages that you can't help but get lost in the world of Sally and her family. The story alternates between Sally, her mother Ella, sister Susan, brother-in-law Al, and all the other people whose lives were touched by Sally throughout her journey. I do have to warn you... this novel touches on some serious issues of child abuse (including physical, sexual, and emotional). This novel actually reminded me a little bit of the dark but beautiful book "All the Ugly and Wonderful Things" by Bryn Greenwood. In all the darkness to this novel.. there is also so so much beauty. This is going on my top reads for 2018. I can't recommend this enough and am telling you to pre-order this one. I will be buying a hardcover when the book comes out in August of 2018. Greenwood you got me with that ending.... I couldn't hold it together.. tears were a flowing my friends. I feel like my heart is broken :(. A HUGE thank you to St. Martins Press, Netgalley, and T. Greenwood for an advanced arc in exchange for my honest review. Published to GR: 2/25/18 Publication date: 8/7/2018

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mary Beth *Traveling Sister*

    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 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 based on the real life story that inspired Vladimir Nabokov to finish Lolita. This is every parents nightmare and it is a heartbreaking novel. Frank LaSalle is a monster. Sally doesn't want anyone to know that she is kidnapped, and keeps secrets, because she is in fear that something worst could happen to her, and her family. This is such a heartbreaking novel based on a true story that is every parents nightmare. Some true stories don't have a happily after. Even though this wasn't a happy story, I loved it. This is a historical novel and I am loving them more and more. It was a very suspenseful book. I thought the author did a really excellent job on her characters. Sally was very naive but she also was a smart girl for her age. The author did a great job on Sally's emotions and actions. Sally led a tragic life. My heart went out to Sally and her family. It was very difficult to read at times and I don't think this story will leave me anytime soon after reading it. It was a little dark and disturbing. I thought it was very well written and it flowed so well. I read Where I Lost Her and thought that book was outstanding and I thought this one was done, just as good as that book. This one is a must read. I want to read all of her books. If you haven't read any of this authors books, go ahead and read one. It will give you an awesome reading experience. I want to thank NetGalley, St. Martin's Press and T. Greenwood for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kaceey - Traveling Sister

    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 S 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 Sally’s way. Oh yes! And the cruel joke of an initiation from the “Blood Sisters” sets off an avalanche of events that leaves poor Sally taken away from everyone she knows and loves and thrust into a world of unimaginable terror. This book is based on the true case of Sally Horner. As the author states in her acknowledgment at the end of the book, this is not a biography or a true crime novel. It is fictionbased on true events. I devoured this in one day. It’s so hard to put down as you are completely absorbed into this emotional journey with Sally. Be prepared for the onslaught of emotions. Anger, sadness, love and heartbreak. You cannot read this book and come away untouched by its powerful realism. There are a number of vivid events in this book that may be difficult for some readers, but the author handled it extremely well without going into any unnecessary details. I highly recommend this book if you are looking for something to touch you and remind you of life’s true value. A Traveling Friends read!🌸 For this review and more Traveling Friends reviews please visit: https://twosisterslostinacoulee.com/2... Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and T. Greenwood for an ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    j e w e l s [Books Bejeweled]

    FIVE SHATTERING STARS 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 FIVE SHATTERING STARS 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 it’s also suspenseful, historically relevant and fascinating. Rust & Stardust is not a true-crime book in the traditional sense. This crime of a young girl’s kidnapping in 1948 was headline making at the time and was the inspiration for Nabokov’s Lolita. (A fact that nauseates me. Remind me to check how many stars I gave that classic tale.) I had a vague familiarity with Sally Horner’s name, but that’s all I knew when I began reading. I resisted every impulse to google, and I'm pleased to announce that in this case, I did abstain. I had no idea how the story would end and the suspense propelled me forward like a slingshot. I rarely put this book down. Sally crawled into my heart and I felt like I understood her. I cared about her—what’s going on, is she going to escape now? I was thinking about Sally constantly. And it’s been a long time since I had a book do that to me. Thank you, T. Greenwood, for this passionate reading experience! I would describe this book as a cross between The Grapes of Wrath and THE CHANGELING movie starring Angelina Jolie. I know the time periods are a little off between these beautiful works of art, but the important thing IS the time period. It's the omnipresent lens that we view the story through and acts as much a pivotal character as anything else in the novel. There was a pervasive, deep societal innocence back then. Way before child molesters, mass shootings, and sex traffickers became our daily news. Sally was purely an innocent child, but also her mother, friends, teachers, even the police pushed back their doubts. "This could not be what it looked like." "This does not happen in America". In small ways, they all unknowingly contributed to the crime as much as Frank LaSalle, the deviant, corrupted everything he touched. Rust & Stardust has all the atmospheric setting and attention to detail that Steinbeck, himself, was able to conjure on the page as the Okies trudged through the dust to California. Between the short, beautifully written chapters, Sally's abduction unfolds as seen by all the different characters involved. While you are very fearful for poor Sally, it is her family’s story of guilt, bitterness and loss that will shatter your heart. FIVE STARS. I HIGHLY recommend Rust & Stardust. You will be hooked after the first few pages. I promise. Yes, there are some triggers for sensitive readers. However, Greenwood tackles the subject matter in such a consciously delicate manner that the story of Sally's life comes across as nothing less than poignant, authentic and human. And SERIOUSLY!! Don't google until you finish the book!!!! Many thanks to the sweet people over at St. Martin's Press for sending me an early copy to read and review. All opinions are strictly my own.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Susanne Strong

    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 ma 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 claim to be an FBI agent. The man states that she must do as he tells her, or she will be arrested and taken to jail. Sally obeys as he is utterly convincing, especially to an eleven-year old, who is naive and trusting and she is in desperate need of attention. Sally’s mother Ella, has been overwhelmed ever since her husband died - thus when Frank La Salle, posing as the father of Sally’s school friend offers to take Sally off her hands for the summer, Ella doesn’t question it, not even when weeks and then months go by. Not when she gets letters from Sally stating how much fun she’s having. Ella has no idea it’s a ruse. Only when Sally’s older sister Susan and her husband Al start questioning things does Ella begin to worry. Thank goodness for Sally they did. Turns out Sally didn’t leave of her own accord - yet by the time it’s discovered, Sally and her abductor Frank, have fled. Time and again - La Salle is two steps ahead. People notice that something seems amiss and yet, they do nothing. Perhaps a sign of the times or an issue with people not wanting to get involved, the effects are devastating. As you can imagine, Frank La Salle is not a nice man and unfortunately, Sally struggles in more ways than one. For two years she has feelings of guilt, anger, and complete and utter sadness and the depths of those feelings filled my soul. There were a few characters who were shining stars here. They are etched on my heart. One is Ruth, a woman who befriends Sally. Another is Al, Sally’s brother-in-law, who never gave up on the possibility of finding her. His heart is filled with solid gold. Rust & Startdust broke me. Throat tight, cries escaping. This is not a book for the faint of heart. Though it dealt with a difficult subject, based on a true story, the details were handled extremely delicately. For that, I was extremely grateful. I didn’t realize that it was based on a true story until I read the author’s note and then googled more about Sally Horner’s story. This novel read like fiction - it was flowy, beautiful, heartbreaking and poignant. T. Greenwood did a phenomenal job and I am in awe of her writing style. This was a Traveling Friends read. Reading this with a group garnered incredible heartfelt discussions and really aided in my ability to get through this truly beautiful, yet incredibly hard to read novel. Thank you friends. Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and T. Greenwood for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. Published on NetGalley, Goodreads and Twitter on 8.18.18.

  12. 5 out of 5

    karen

    NOW AVAILABLE!!! 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 NOW AVAILABLE!!! 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 of the third person POV is part of it; the reader is already somewhat distanced from the situation, and the horrors are further diffused by employing multiple third-person POVs throughout the novel, where the shape of the story isn’t “these are the things happening to this little girl right now,” but “these are the ways in which a girl going missing affects those who knew her.” short answer, mostly guilt. the actual abuse scenes are mostly written around, so it is less horrific than it could be (for the reader), and sally manages to find small moments of comfort and companionship as she’s being dragged across the country by her abductor. my biggest takeaway from this (because it feels weird to say ‘the thing i most enjoyed') were the specifics of the real-life case, about which i knew nothing before reading this. although many many scenes were invented for narrative impact, the things that i believe were factual are surprising - that her mother handed her over to this man, that he allowed her to attend school(s) on their way across the country without her escaping or asking for help, and her ultimate fate (which i accidentally learned when i was just a few pages from encountering it in the book - oops). the ease with which sally was manipulated by this man is horrifying and frustrating and makes you want to grab a time travel machine and create a million NO! GO! TELL! PSAs all over the past, and the one-after-another ways she was let down by well-intentioned, would-be rescuers (although i believe they were all apocryphal) are even more frustrating. i just never felt drawn into this book, and while that’s probably a relief for most readers, considering the subject matter, it didn’t work for me. i already read at an emotional reserve because of my robot sensibilities, so it doesn’t bother me to look tragedy in the eye, and i tend to prefer overkill and melodrama to tasteful restraint. i’m glad i read it, because i do think it is going to be a big deal book and a popular choice for book clubs. it held my interest and made me more inclined to read The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel that Scandalized the World when it comes out in september, and any book that leads you to another book is a winner in my eyes. ******************************* 3.5 still-solidifying stars... review to come. come to my blog!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    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 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 dimension of hope. There are moments of beauty when everything seems dark and ugly. It’s the story of a girl who will forever be lost but touched by the stars to make her whole and it will break your heart. 5⭐️

  14. 5 out of 5

    Holly B

    4.5 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 4.5 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 some newspaper articles and see some photographs of Sally. When this abduction occurred in 1958, there were no cameras to help detectives or cell phones to trace children. It took police two years to catch up with this monster that had Sally. She endured much, but her voice is heard in this story. Awareness of sexual predators is much greater today, but sadly they do exist. I’m glad to have met Sally through this story, although my heart is forever broken. The story was just so flawless and engaging that I finished it in two days. I couldn’t put it down. I had to find out how it would end. Thank you to St. Martin's Press for my Advanced Reading Copy.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    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 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 this book. If Only rides along from New Jersey to California. The individuals we meet along the way are fully developed characters. This is part of the beauty of this novel. We like some. We admire some. We hate some. Some bring us to tears while others raise our blood pressure. I will not ruin the book for future readers by disclosing the ending. I will call the ending most satisfying and poignant. I received an advance copy of this book from Netgalley. My review is unbiased and completely my own. #netgalkey #rustandstardust

  16. 4 out of 5

    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 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 be initiated into a group of girls, she is told she has to steal a notebook from Woolworth’s. Frank LaSalle, a seedy and convicted felon recently released from prison, catches her in the act and misleadingly portrays himself as an FBI worker. What follows is the two tragic years Sally spends with LaSalle, as they travel cross country, and he repeatedly abuses her. Even though I knew how it would unfold because it is a story based on true events, at each step, I was hoping, practically pleading, for a different outcome for Sally. There are opportunities for help and near misses, and each time, I kept hoping. T. Greenwood uses a deft and sensitive hand along with beautiful writing to paint this somber story with respect to Sally Horner and her family and to give them a voice in these disheartening and devastating events. The Author’s Note is not to be missed and shows the heart of the author. Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for the advance review copy. All opinions are my own. My reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rose (Traveling Sister)

    *5 LUMINOUS stars!* I couldn't be happier to add this shiny new hardcover to my bookcase. It's a true gift. "...as she descended the school's front steps to the sidewalk, Sally felt dread in her stomach like a peach pit swallowed whole." I want to go to the nearest hat store, put on all the hats, and take them all off for T. Greenwood. I seriously feel like I'm in a sensory deprivation tank after reading Rust & Stardust. I'm numb to external stimulus yet hyper-aware at the same time, and I may *5 LUMINOUS stars!* I couldn't be happier to add this shiny new hardcover to my bookcase. It's a true gift. "...as she descended the school's front steps to the sidewalk, Sally felt dread in her stomach like a peach pit swallowed whole." I want to go to the nearest hat store, put on all the hats, and take them all off for T. Greenwood. I seriously feel like I'm in a sensory deprivation tank after reading Rust & Stardust. I'm numb to external stimulus yet hyper-aware at the same time, and I may as well be in zero gravity. This is one of those books that's so incredibly heavy that it somehow makes you feel like you're floating. "It was like pulling a rock out of the sand; the water just filled the empty space when it was gone. Like it had never been there at all." The plot is raw and straightforward: a young girl is kidnapped and led across the country by a deranged monster for nearly two years, from 1948-1950. It's the real-life case of Sally Horner, and I suggest you not Google it before reading this book. I made that mistake, and while it shielded me from some of the more shocking elements of R&S, I think I softened the full effect of the book by reading too much beforehand. One of the best aspects of this novel is the way it gives an even glimpse into the ways many different characters cope with the kidnapping. Ella, Susan, and Al are Sally's mother, sister, and brother-in-law, respectively. They're all experiencing fear and heartbreak and loss privately while simultaneously trying to help each other. "Even her ribs, it seemed, became the delicate bars of a birdcage inside which her heart beat and beat, wishing open the hatch that might set her free." There are several characters along the way who act as little beacons of hope for humanity as they work tirelessly to find Sally or, at the very least, keep her company. These few people in Sally's life are gems that will keep you from being able to put this book down, despite how challenging it gets. Greenwood does a phenomenal job illustrating how hauntingly easy it can be to take advantage of those who are weaker than you, even if they are strong in their own right. The flaws with this book aren't flaws in the writing; they're just the harsh realities of the era in which the crime occurred. You'll find yourself aghast at overly-trusting neighbors and turtle-slow police work, but this isn't reflective of Greenwood's stylistic choices. The truth really just sucks that bad. "Thieves prey on those who trust; this was a lesson she could never seem to learn. One she was afraid she hadn't managed to impart to Sally." I completed this with the Traveling Friends group, and so far, it's left everyone equally speechless and blown away. While Greenwood fabricated certain encounters and changed some names, this is almost as much a true crime book as it is historical fiction. A great deal of delicacy went into handling this story, but the author definitely gave Sally's life a bit of justice. Lastly, this book is far from a barrel of laughs, but at least there's this: "Peanuts, peanuts, live chameleons!"

  18. 4 out of 5

    Norma * Traveling Sister

    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 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 absolutely brilliant and phenomenal writer! RUST & STARDUST by T. GREENWOOD is an extremely emotional, chilling, and heart-wrenching story that is fictional based on the real-life kidnapping of 11-year-old Sally Horner. T. GREENWOOD delivers an engaging, suspenseful, and extremely well-written read here that was definitely difficult to read but I was totally invested in Sally and her family and couldn’t put it down. I did have to distance myself a few times though because I knew this story was going to be gut-wrenching and get under my skin. The story is told in multiple perspectives between Sally and her family as well as people that Sally came into contact with in those two horrific years of captivity. With so much despair there was still a really nice balance of love and hope that was given to us to hold close to our hearts hoping for a positive outcome for Sally. I really love T. Greenwood’s writing style and can so relate to the way she writes and I think that makes for a very special and extremely talented author. Would highly recommend! *Traveling Friends Read* I absolutely fell in love with T. Greenwood’s novels after reading Where I Lost Her which is one of my all-time favourite books! Norma’s Stats: Cover: Eye-catching, extremely fitting and an obscure representation to storyline. Title: Drew me in instantly & subtly ties into plot. Writing/Prose: Beautiful, meaningful, gentle Ending: Bittersweet, emotional Overall: An outstanding read! Would highly recommend to anyone but be prepared for an intense emotional journey. Review written and posted on Two Sisters Lost In A Coulee Reading book blog: https://twosisterslostinacoulee.com

  19. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    4.5 Stars. 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 4.5 Stars. 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.

  20. 5 out of 5

    JanB

    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 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 instructions. In truth, Frank La Salle was a pedophile who had just been released from prison where he was serving time for the statutory rape of young girls. Sally ends up being a captive of La Salle’s for nearly 2 years, years she was physically, mentally, and sexually abused. Sally Horner was the real-life inspiration for Vladimir Nabokov’s novel, Lolita. I’ve never read Lolita nor do I have any desire to do so. I had not heard of Sally Horner until reading this book. In 1948 11-year-olds can’t be compared to today’s youth. The internet didn’t exist, there were no warnings of stranger danger, no Amber alerts or faces on milk cartons, and professionals weren’t trained in detecting abuse. Sally was naïve and trusting and believed whatever Frank told her. Frank was wily and cunning and knew just what to tell her to keep her in line. Sally’s story is not an easy one to read but in the author’s hands she deals with the subject sensitively and respectfully, never giving the reader unnecessary details. The story is told through multiple points of view, with chapters narrated by Sally, her mother, her sister and brother-in-law, and some of the people who came into contact with her during her captivity. Sadly, there were so many missed opportunities to help Sally, but there were also people like Lena, Sister Mary Katherine, and Ruth who showed Sally kindness and love. I’ve seen some people question why didn’t Sally tell others what was happening to her even though she attended school and was out in public? None of us know the threats and manipulations she was subjected to on a daily basis. Plus, she was a child trying to stay alive in the hopes she would one day get to go home. In the words of Elizabeth Smart, also a victim of abduction and abuse: “It is wrong for any person to ever judge someone in any situation saying, ‘Well, why didn’t you try to run? Why didn’t you scream? Why didn’t you try to do something?” she said. “That is so wrong and, frankly, offensive to even ask that question.” One other thing that I want to mention is how the press treated Sally. There were no laws protecting minors or victims of sexual crimes. The press printed her name and details of her sexual abuse. They called her chubby even though at 5 feet tall she weighed 110#. Hardly chubby! Even if she was chubby, how offensive to mention a victim's weight, as if it matters. Upon her rescue Sally did not receive counseling or psychiatric help. One can only wonder at the emotional damage and the pain and anguish she endured long after her captivity ended. My heart hurt for Sally. Although it can be difficult to read, I think it's important that on behalf of all victims of abuse we know her story. The author’s note indicates this story mirrors the real-life Sally Horner, although some details and conversations were imagined. I did my own internet research into the case and was pleasantly surprised at how closely the author’s story followed the truth. The author’s writing is a fitting tribute to Sally in making her story known to the world. • Many thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. • I read this with the Traveling Friends reading group on Goodreads where our discussions always make the experience better.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Elyse

    “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 “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 the fiction choices picked to tell this story. Some parts were so far out in left field....it spoiled the authenticity for me of the tragedy . The true story itself and for all kids who are abducted - raped by monsters....is so devastating horrific —that the fictional drama added took away from the genuine emotions of the real issue at hand. This story is inspired by a real kidnapping of a girl named Sally Horner. I did some research myself on Sally Horner. The author got a few facts right — but the things she added were preposterous. Wikipedia was at least factual - leaving it at that. No needed cocktails to buzz the brain. The writing — in my opinion - had a little warmth - but it was also dull and flat...journalistic style: He said. She said. He did. She did. On Sunday morning this happened...On Monday morning ‘that’ happened... “When she knocked on Sally’s door, she hoped it would be Sally who’d answer”. Honestly.... I didn’t care much for this book - but I respect and appreciate that others do - have - and will. Short chapters: ......voices by...Sally, Ella, Atlantic City, New Jersey, Susan, Sister Mary Katherine, Vivi, Sammy, Dallas,Texas, Ruth, Al, Lena, San Jose, California, Margaret. The Author’s Notes at the end.....reporting that in 1948 Sally Horner was in headlines across the country. Vladimir Nabokov was struggling to write ‘Lolita’....( Sally Horner ‘his’ inspiration?).... This book is the authors imagination. She is at biographer not a true crime writer… a novelist. Tammy Greenwood said, “her book is a work of fiction”.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tammy

    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. 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. As is always the case with child abductions, there is more than one victim and I was struck by the gentleness with which the author cared for her characters. Sally Horner’s story is the inspiration for Lolita and I found this re-imagining to be much more distressing than Nabokov’s classic.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Cheri

    !! NOW AVAILABLE !! ”The teacher wonders but she Doesn't ask It's hard to see the pain Behind the mask Bearing the burden Of a secret storm Sometimes she wishes she was Never born “Through the wind and the rain She stands hard as a stone In her world that she can rise above But her dreams give her wings And she flies to a place where She's loved Concrete angel” -- Concrete Angel, Martina McBride, Songwriters: Rob Crosby / Stephanie Kay Bentley And the rest is rust and stardust. --LOLITA by Vladimir Nabokov It !! NOW AVAILABLE !! ”The teacher wonders but she Doesn't ask It's hard to see the pain Behind the mask Bearing the burden Of a secret storm Sometimes she wishes she was Never born “Through the wind and the rain She stands hard as a stone In her world that she can rise above But her dreams give her wings And she flies to a place where She's loved Concrete angel” -- Concrete Angel, Martina McBride, Songwriters: Rob Crosby / Stephanie Kay Bentley And the rest is rust and stardust. --LOLITA by Vladimir Nabokov It’s June of 1948 in Camden, New Jersey as this story begins – a story that is a fictionalized account of the real kidnapping of then eleven year old Sally Horner, which inspired Nabokov to write / finish writing Lolita. School hasn’t yet paused for summer vacation, but soon, and Sally is trying to win acceptance with the girls from the nicer, prettier side of town. With this in mind, she nervously accepts a dare to steal something from Woolworth’s, only one man, Frank LaSalle, spots her slipping the composition notebook inside her sweater and he makes his way to her, informing her that he is an FBI agent, and she is to come along with him. He might find a way to help her out of this, but she must do as he says. Sally’s mother is physically in poor health, plagued by aches and pains, and emotionally she hasn’t recovered from her second husband’s death, deemed a suicide. Her first husband, father to Sally and her sister, left when Sally was very young. LaSalle, a known sex-offender with a preference for young girls, recently released from prison, meets up with Sally after school the next day, and with summer vacation now upon them, tells her that she is to ask her mother for permission to go to the shore, with her friend, otherwise, he’ll have to them her that he’s been ordered to deliver Sally to FBI headquarters. And so she ends up at Wildwood by the Sea, but it’s only the beginning of a much longer journey in time and travel for the two of them. Years will pass, and the girl that began this journey as a young, naïve girl will be changed forever. This story is shared initially through Sally and her mother, Ella, but as the story progresses, more narrators enter into sharing a new side, a new view of the status of the case, how it is affecting her neighbor Ruth, who feels a need to protect her, Sister Mary Katherine who believes that there is something disturbingly wrong but has been told to stay out of it, her mother’s thoughts, her sister’s, her brother-in-law Al, who is her champion, never allowing them to forget or give up hope, always looking for new ways to keep her story in the public’s view. I had wanted to read this because I had read T. Greenwood’s The Golden Hour and enjoyed that. Her ability to create a visual scene had impressed me, and I wasn’t disappointed in her ability to breathe life into Rust & Stardust. I did feel that it occasionally became a bit bogged down in mundane things, events that seemed to serve no purpose, and too many points-of-view, which should leave the reader feeling they have seen everything there is to see, but left me feeling too many of these were, essentially, irrelevant. From Camden, New Jersey to Dallas, Texas, to San Jose, California, a long, harrowing journey that will forever change this young girl, whose story became every parent’s nightmare. Pub Date: 07 AUG 2018 Many thanks for the ARC provided by St. Martin’s Press

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay - Traveling Sister

    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 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 her innocence. While many scenes were extremely difficult to accept, they were presented with sensitivity and care in a sincerely respectful manner, leaving out unnecessary detail that would have made this unbearable for me to read. Sally’s character was innocent, naïve and loveable. I felt for her from the very first sentence. Her sister (Susan), brother-in-law (Al), Ruth and Sister Mary Katherine were stand out characters. The author, T. Greenwood, brilliantly captured their emotions, their struggles, their longing for answers, their hope. I was rooting for a reunion for this family. The writing was excellent. The story flowed effortlessly through multiple characters perspectives, each adding a new layer of emotion and intensity to the novel. This was a Traveling Friends read. Due to the seriousness and heart-wrenching topic, it was wonderful to be able to experience this novel along with the Traveling Friends who held excellent discussion and provided support along the way. To find this review, along with the other Traveling Sister reviews, please visit our blog at: https://twosisterslostinacoulee.com/2... A big THANK YOU to the lovely Marialyce who kindly sent me her copy of this unforgettable novel. Rust & Stardust is AVAILABLE NOW!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Imane

    “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.” ― T. Greenwood, Rust & Stardust What a fantastic and thrilling read ! In 1948, 11-year-old Sally Horner was kidnapped and subsequently held captive by a pedophile for 21 months. This was the true crime story that inspired Nabokov's Lolita, and i must say that the author did such a wonderful job illustrating what Sally and her family went throug “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.” ― T. Greenwood, Rust & Stardust What a fantastic and thrilling read ! In 1948, 11-year-old Sally Horner was kidnapped and subsequently held captive by a pedophile for 21 months. This was the true crime story that inspired Nabokov's Lolita, and i must say that the author did such a wonderful job illustrating what Sally and her family went through.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    This is a novel based on the true crime story of the kidnapping of 11 yr old Sally Horner in 1948, in Camden, NJ that inspired the writing of the book Lolita. Sally’s kidnapper, Frank LaSalle was 52 yrs old and newly out of prison when he tricked her into thinking he was an FBI agent after she stole a notebook out of Woolworth’s, on a dare from a few classmates. This was very hard to read because with her being only 11 years old, he was able to tell her so many lies to convince her she was in rea This is a novel based on the true crime story of the kidnapping of 11 yr old Sally Horner in 1948, in Camden, NJ that inspired the writing of the book Lolita. Sally’s kidnapper, Frank LaSalle was 52 yrs old and newly out of prison when he tricked her into thinking he was an FBI agent after she stole a notebook out of Woolworth’s, on a dare from a few classmates. This was very hard to read because with her being only 11 years old, he was able to tell her so many lies to convince her she was in real trouble if she didn’t stay with him. He was abusing her mentally and physically while moving through many areas of the States. There are many people through their travels who try to help Sally, usually a little to late.. This is a heartbreaking novel and very suspenseful! If you are new to T. Greenwood, I think I would start out with a different book of hers. I just loved Bodies of Water, and I enjoyed The Golden Hour. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for this advanced digital book!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    Oh, this book just tugged on my heartstrings from the first page. Poor Sally Horner just wants to fit in. So, when the popular girls tell her she must steal something from Woolworths to join their club, she tries. But instead, she’s picked up by Frank LaSalle, fresh out of prison, pretending to be an FBI agent. This book is based on the true crime that took place in 1948 and which was a possible inspiration for Nabokov’s Lolita. The book is told from multiple perspectives. And each chapter is mo Oh, this book just tugged on my heartstrings from the first page. Poor Sally Horner just wants to fit in. So, when the popular girls tell her she must steal something from Woolworths to join their club, she tries. But instead, she’s picked up by Frank LaSalle, fresh out of prison, pretending to be an FBI agent. This book is based on the true crime that took place in 1948 and which was a possible inspiration for Nabokov’s Lolita. The book is told from multiple perspectives. And each chapter is more plaintive than the prior one. When Vivi finally confesses to the priest and all he does is deal her penance, my heart went out to her. Or when the Catholic Church fails Sally, I actually moaned out loud. Surprisingly, Al’s chapters resonated as deeply as Sally’s. He’s so desperate to do something; incapable of sitting still. This is a beautifully written book. “She remembered lying in bed, trying to remember his smile. But she came up blank. She concentrated hard, working on remembering one detail at a time. But the memory was like confetti in a kaleidoscope, fragments (nose, chin, grin) never to be assembled correctly again.” Such a sad and intense book, I kept having to put the book down and give myself a few minutes to collect myself, but it’s so well done I have to highly recommend it. One of the best I’ve read in 2018. My thanks to netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advance copy of this book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Marialyce

    "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 "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, that jolt, that reminder that a piece of your child's innocence had been taken. Now multiply that by a million....and that is what was taken from Sally. Sally Horner was eleven. She was an innocent child, a shy child, a child who desperately wanted to belong, to have friends, to be accepted. Sally accepts a dare in order to join a cliche of girls. She is tasked with stealing something from Woolworth's. So she does, a trivial object, a notebook, and is caught by a man claiming to be an FBI agent who scares and terrorizes Sally saying that she will be arrested and sent away. Sally is frightened, she falls prey to this man who is a predator and through his manipulation and Sally's mother, a poor soul herself suffering from the suicide of her husband, Sally's stepfather, as well as rheumatoid arthritis believed the story he wove. He spirits Sally away first to Jersey, then to Texas, and finally to California. She is gone, vanished into the wind, and the police, her mother, her older sister and her husband are left bereft and wonder where Sally has gone. Sally has been taken by an evil man, a sexual predator, a manipulator who turns young innocence into shame, fear, and longing for the ways things use to be, for family, for someone who cares and does not abuse Sally's heart, mind, and soul. Ms Greenwood has turned this true happening into a story of pain, loss, and pathos that breaks one's heart. She weaves the story, seeming to crawl into Sally's mind and heart as she relates to the reader what Sally feels and what she has lost. This is not a book about the horrendous things done to Sally, no vivid details are related. This is not a book of sensationalism, but a book of compassion for a young life that was lost, for Sally's loss of innocence is the loss of her young life. It is the loss of growing into oneself, the loss of play, the loss of the sense of carefree days where one was able to while away, a day of childhood doing childhood things. This vile predator stole Sally's sense of wonder, he stole her life in essence and brought her to a point where she thought there was no way to return. Once innocence is lost, there is no regaining it. all the rest was rust and stardust (Lolita) For Sally there was nothing but rust, the stardust had long disappeared. Enormous thanks to T. Greenwood for writing a story that was sensitive, kind, emotional, understanding. She has once again captured the consciousness of being a victim, of feeling like you have no voice, of being ashamed and ever so vulnerable. Thanks also to Holly who knowing how I feel about this author and this book made it available to me. You can follow my reviews on my blog https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres... This book will be available on August 7, 2018

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ Apparently 2018 is going to be the year where I read all the things I don’t typically choose to read because generally when it comes to books that fall under the “Historical Fiction” umbrella I’d say . . . . Either that, or it’s the year that it officially is confirmed that . . . . Because not only was this Historical Fiction that I really liked, but apparently it was also the story behind the inspiration to Lolita (which I read waaa Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ Apparently 2018 is going to be the year where I read all the things I don’t typically choose to read because generally when it comes to books that fall under the “Historical Fiction” umbrella I’d say . . . . Either that, or it’s the year that it officially is confirmed that . . . . Because not only was this Historical Fiction that I really liked, but apparently it was also the story behind the inspiration to Lolita (which I read waaaaaaaay before GR (like in the stone age) so maybe there’s an excuse for me not remembering the “And the rest is rust and stardust” quote - also if you’re curious about the 3 Star rating I gave, it came from not being a fan of Nabokov’s prose since I read this when I was young and even more stupid, but now that I am old (and also kind of a psycho) I think I should give it another try because I’ll probably love it. But anyway, back to the book. There’s not a whole lot here to tell. Rust and Stardust is the fictional take on what happened in 1948 to young Sally Horner – an 11-year old girl who is stopped by an “FBI Agent” while shoplifting in order to get in with the in crowd and becomes his captive for the next two years. I’m really not sure what others will think of this one, but I was completely fascinated – maybe more so than other readers will be since I had zero knowledge of this case prior to beginning. If you’re curious about any potential “shock and awe” factor I will say that the brutality is done in a fade-to-black style so you won’t have to experience any gory details. The truly horrific factoid is that Frank LaSalle, the perpetrator of this atrocious crime, had just been released from jail for raping FIVE other little girls between the ages of 12 and 14 and before that he had not only kidnapped another girl, but ended up married to her and they had a baby! (And THAT is the case that reminded me of Lolita waaaaaaaaay more than this one. I would read the shit out of Dorothy Dare’s story.) Rust and Stardust is presented with chapters from TONS of different viewpoints – not only Sally, but also her mother and sister and brother-in-law and schoolmates and teachers and neighbors and on and on and on. This worked for me throughout the duration of Sally’s captivity, but leads to my one complaint: The ending needs a heavier-handed editor who is willing to take the scissors to this sucker and leave all the excess on the floor. EVERYONE’S story gets wrapped up which is completely unnecessary. It should not be forgotten that this was SALLY’S story. All the other characters were just helping to tell it. Oh and I can't forget to give a shoutout to that cover. You won't understand it until nearly the end of the book, but WOW. Perfect. Many thanks to my friend Meow for turning me on to this title. I try my best to stop my crack-addict-style-of-clickery over at NetGalley, but rely on my GR friends to point me toward the good ones. That’s what happened here. ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you NetGalley!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Felicia

    "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 "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 is briefly mentioned by Nabokov in his novel therefore it is widely speculated that Sally's story may have been the inspiration for Lolita. There is nothing light in this book, it is dark from beginning to end. Greenwood has done an exceptional job at weaving this true crime plot into imaginary existence. The writing is beyond reproach with fully developed credible characters that walk you through this tragedy seamlessly. Highly recommend. I was provided an ARC of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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