Published recently in 2011, Silver Sparrow is a novel written by Tayari Jones, a novelist and professor who won the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award for Debut Fiction in 2003 with her work, Leaving Atlanta. The plot of Silver Sparrow involves a father’s life full of lies, a family’s involvement in illegal activities, and two teenage girls who are swept up in the chaos.
The book is set in a neighborhood in Atlanta, Georgia in the 1980s, where the bigamist, James Witherspoon, has two families in Atlanta, the public and normal one, and the secret one. The two girls meet at a nearby drugstore and befriend each other. As the girls grow up and change into women who have dreams and ambitions, the way Jones chooses to structure the novel becomes important. Dana, who knows that the two are sisters, tells her story in the first part; Chaurisse, who does not know at first, narrates the second. As the girls learn and change in Silver Sparrow, the narrator’s story also changes, creating more dramatic irony as the girls grow up and the reader sees how much of life is predestined and unable to be changed.