Rust & Stardust
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.

Rust & Stardust Details

TitleRust & Stardust
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 7th, 2018
PublisherSt. Martin's Press
ISBN-139781250164193
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction

Rust & Stardust Review

  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    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.***
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  • Deanna
    January 1, 1970
    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 exce 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.
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  • Debra
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsRust & 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 starsRust & 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
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  • Mary Beth *Traveling Sister*
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • (Bern) Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
    January 1, 1970
    📓 "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.
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  • Kendall
    January 1, 1970
    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 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: 2/25/18Publication date: 8/7/2018
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  • Holly B
    January 1, 1970
    4.5Had to finish, had to knowI’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 4.5Had to finish, had to knowI’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.
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  • karen
    January 1, 1970
    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 per 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!
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  • Carol
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    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!
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  • Cheri
    January 1, 1970
    ”The teacher wonders but sheDoesn't askIt's hard to see the painBehind the maskBearing the burdenOf a secret stormSometimes she wishes she wasNever born“Through the wind and the rainShe stands hard as a stoneIn her world that she can rise aboveBut her dreams give her wingsAnd she flies to a place whereShe's lovedConcrete angel” -- Concrete Angel, Martina McBride, Songwriters: Rob Crosby / Stephanie Kay BentleyAnd the rest is rust and stardust. --LOLITA by Vladimir Nabokov It’s June of 1948 in Ca ”The teacher wonders but sheDoesn't askIt's hard to see the painBehind the maskBearing the burdenOf a secret stormSometimes she wishes she wasNever born“Through the wind and the rainShe stands hard as a stoneIn her world that she can rise aboveBut her dreams give her wingsAnd she flies to a place whereShe's lovedConcrete angel” -- Concrete Angel, Martina McBride, Songwriters: Rob Crosby / Stephanie Kay BentleyAnd 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 2018Many thanks for the ARC provided by St. Martin’s Press
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  • Marialyce
    January 1, 1970
    "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 NesboMost 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 NesboMost 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
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  • Tammy
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)
    January 1, 1970
    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!
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  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Zoeytron
    January 1, 1970
    Copy furnished by Net Galley for the price of a review.A monster masquerading as a man (an FBI agent, a Daddy, whatever he needs to be) has a predilection for little girls.  Young girls who are gullible and naive, and who have been taught that adults are always right.  Easy prey for this vile man.This is historical fiction, based on a case that was all too real.  The year is 1948.  Excellent characterizations.  Loved the analogy of the carnival sideshow folk and the fiendish freak who showed no Copy furnished by Net Galley for the price of a review.A monster masquerading as a man (an FBI agent, a Daddy, whatever he needs to be) has a predilection for little girls.  Young girls who are gullible and naive, and who have been taught that adults are always right.  Easy prey for this vile man.This is historical fiction, based on a case that was all too real.  The year is 1948.  Excellent characterizations.  Loved the analogy of the carnival sideshow folk and the fiendish freak who showed no outward signs of it.
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  • Felicia
    January 1, 1970
    "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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  • Katie B
    January 1, 1970
    So incredibly heartbreaking. This is a historical fiction novel based on the 1948 kidnapping of Sally Horner. It has been theorized Vladimir Nabokov might have been partially inspired by the case and it is actually briefly mentioned in his book,Lolita . I wasn't familiar with the case beforehand and I ended up reading this book over the course of an afternoon and evening because I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep not knowing what happened to Sally. Your heart just breaks for this sweet and trust So incredibly heartbreaking. This is a historical fiction novel based on the 1948 kidnapping of Sally Horner. It has been theorized Vladimir Nabokov might have been partially inspired by the case and it is actually briefly mentioned in his book,Lolita . I wasn't familiar with the case beforehand and I ended up reading this book over the course of an afternoon and evening because I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep not knowing what happened to Sally. Your heart just breaks for this sweet and trusting young girl. The book is told from not only Sally's perspective but other people who know Sally, including her family members. So throughout the book you are not only feeling Sally's pain but also the hurt and torment of those she left behind. It's really a remarkable book and I highly recommend but be prepared for an emotional reading experience.I won a free ARC in a giveaway but was under no obligation to post a review. All views expressed are my honest opinion.
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  • Elyse
    January 1, 1970
    “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”.
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  • Lyn
    January 1, 1970
    Author T. Greenwood has given us a glimpse into the life of the real Lolita, 11-year-old Sally Horner, whose kidnapping in 1948 inspired Nabokov’s iconic novel.Told with sympathy and warmth, this made me think more of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood because of her terse, journalistic prose. Whereas Nabokov’s book was highly literary and exceptional in the demonstration of his great ability, Greenwood’s well written account is more of non-fiction novel, describing events as they happen to and aroun Author T. Greenwood has given us a glimpse into the life of the real Lolita, 11-year-old Sally Horner, whose kidnapping in 1948 inspired Nabokov’s iconic novel.Told with sympathy and warmth, this made me think more of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood because of her terse, journalistic prose. Whereas Nabokov’s book was highly literary and exceptional in the demonstration of his great ability, Greenwood’s well written account is more of non-fiction novel, describing events as they happen to and around Sally and her mother.Abducted and then kept moving for the better part of two years, Horner and her captor stay one step ahead of the pursuit, traveling as “father and daughter”. Greenwood uses a shifting perspective to show how Horner deals with her captivity and also focuses in on the people surrounding her and the pain and loss that spiraled out from the ongoing crime. We get to know Sally’s mother and others who suspect something is amiss but are helpless or unwilling to go further to help her.Greenwood’s great triumph here is to examine and explore our society and culture in terms of how sexual perversion and predatory actions are perceived and acted upon. Noteworthy is that the setting is in the late 40s and this was a different time – no internet, limited national communication – where the two could move to different areas and blend in. But sex crimes against children are still as heartbreaking and unjust as they were 70 years ago, and though technology has made catching the predators more attainable, the scars left on the victims are the same as ever.A good book, sometimes difficult to approach but important and poignant.Thanks to St. Martin's Press for this ARC for an honest review.
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  • Eryn✵
    January 1, 1970
    ★ 4 / 5 ★This book went through it’s ups and downs, but I’m happy to say that, in the end, I enjoyed it immensely. Trust me, push through the slow-ish beginning (at least it was for me), because once you’re invested, this book doesn’t let go.First of all, thank you NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing me with this ARC—I’m grateful, as always!And with this book not being out yet, I won’t give too much away in this review (content wise).Rust and Stardust is a story centered around Sally ★ 4 / 5 ★This book went through it’s ups and downs, but I’m happy to say that, in the end, I enjoyed it immensely. Trust me, push through the slow-ish beginning (at least it was for me), because once you’re invested, this book doesn’t let go.First of all, thank you NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing me with this ARC—I’m grateful, as always!And with this book not being out yet, I won’t give too much away in this review (content wise).Rust and Stardust is a story centered around Sally Horner—a girl who is “stolen” by a man/rapist posing to be an FBI agent and her struggles of living with him as she yearns to be back with her mother. I actually didn’t know this story revolved around the actual Sally Horner case in the 1900s; it literally uses real names, settings, and events. That was a neat surprise to find out in the Notes section in the book. Apparently Lolita was also based off of Sally Horner’s case. Must have been a big deal.It’s funny because 1/4th of the way into this, I wanted to give up because it wasn’t interesting me as much as I wanted it to. However, thankfully for whatever reason, I didn’t put it aside, which is why I still stand by one of my updates where I said, “Ya’ll truly need to read this when it comes out.” Slow beginning or not, this is a wonderfully written novel.Overall, do I think it could’ve have a better beginning? Yes. But I also think that everything afterwards made up for it. Or maybe you won’t think the beginning is slow, that’ll great, you’ll love the book then and probably give it 5 stars. Either way, if you’re into psychological thrillers that are based off of actual crimes (where you can look up the facts as you read), this is for you. Really though, I think anyone could find something to like about this book—not only thriller fans. It's a great read!_________________________________I just got an ARC of this!! Super thrilled!
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  • Carrie
    January 1, 1970
    Rust & Stardust by T. Greenwood is a historical fiction read that is based on the real life kidnapping of eleven year old Sally Horner. The author has taken the basis of Sally’s abduction and added fictional details to her story to bring her time in captivity to life.In 1948 Sally Horner had wanted nothing more than to join the popular girls club at her school so when they approached her claiming to want to be friends Sally of course was excited. The girls told Sally in order to enter the cl Rust & Stardust by T. Greenwood is a historical fiction read that is based on the real life kidnapping of eleven year old Sally Horner. The author has taken the basis of Sally’s abduction and added fictional details to her story to bring her time in captivity to life.In 1948 Sally Horner had wanted nothing more than to join the popular girls club at her school so when they approached her claiming to want to be friends Sally of course was excited. The girls told Sally in order to enter the club all she had to do was steal something from the local store.As Sally wandered the store looking for something to take what she doesn’t realize is she has an audience, fifty two year old Frank LaSalle. As Sally tries to exit the story Frank approaches her and claims to be F.B.I. taking her away due to the theft. Before you know it Frank takes Sally across the country all with threats to keep her from fighting back.Again, I’m always quite interested when an author takes a real life event I can look up and see the details of and puts their own spin on the story. I wasn’t familiar with Sally’s story before reading this but a lot of people may be since her story also inspired Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita but whether familiar or not it should still be a compelling tale. Obviously this one has some tough material in it reading what could have happened to young Sally but the author didn’t go overly graphic and it was done quite well with an ease to the writing. When finished I’d definitely recommend checking this one out.I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
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  • Erin Clemence
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review. “Rust and Stardust” by T. Greenwood is based loosely on true events. In New Jersey in 1948, Sally Horner steals a notebook from Woolworth’s in order to impress her friends. When she is approached by a man outside the store, claiming to be an FBI agent who is going to “save her from jail”, her life is forever changed. For the next two years, Sally is taken across state line Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review. “Rust and Stardust” by T. Greenwood is based loosely on true events. In New Jersey in 1948, Sally Horner steals a notebook from Woolworth’s in order to impress her friends. When she is approached by a man outside the store, claiming to be an FBI agent who is going to “save her from jail”, her life is forever changed. For the next two years, Sally is taken across state lines multiple times, bouncing from home to home with her captor, Frank LaSalle, a wanted criminal and sex offender. “Rust and Stardust” tells not only the story of Sally, who is forever changed and forever bound to Frank, but of those she left behind who feel her void most vividly. Greenwood tells a disturbing, psychological, morally defunct story in “Rust and Stardust”. The plot began right away, which instantly draws a reader in to the dark underworld of child abduction. The storyline alternates and we hear not only from Sally herself, but from her mother, sister, brother-in-law, friends, and all of those individuals whose lives she touched throughout her journey. With such an expansive cast of characters, alternating storylines would normally be challenging and difficult to follow but Greenwood sets up in such a way that the plot is expanded and the characters are given room to develop at a slow burn. Loosely based on Vladimir Nabokov’s “Lolita”, “Rust and Stardust” is not for the faint of heart. The darkness of the plot brings to mind “All the Ugly and Wonderful Things” by Bryn Greenwood as well, with the depravity and empathy and all the feelings of disgust and emotional turmoil. The ending of this novel was definitely unexpected and tragic, especially knowing this ending based on the real outcome. The struggles faced by Sally and her family were honest and emotional, and this story is not one that will be easily forgotten. A difficult novel to read, based on its subject matter, “Rust and Stardust” ran the gamut of emotions, while still managing to captivate me and keep me engaged until the very end. A very well told story, full of complex characters and disturbing plot twists, I highly recommend this novel for readers who are looking for something terribly dark and fascinating.
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    A gripping and heart-breaking novel of a 1948 kidnapping of a 11 year-old girl from New Jersery and her haunting two-year odyssey. SUMMARYSally just wanted a friend. In order to be a part of a group of girls at school, 11-year-old Sally Horner is forced to steal a notebook from the local Woolworth’s in Camden, New Jersey. She doesn’t know that 52 year-old Frank LaSalle, fresh out of prison, is watching her, preparing to make his move. Accosting her, Frank convinces Sally that he is an FBI agent A gripping and heart-breaking novel of a 1948 kidnapping of a 11 year-old girl from New Jersery and her haunting two-year odyssey. SUMMARYSally just wanted a friend. In order to be a part of a group of girls at school, 11-year-old Sally Horner is forced to steal a notebook from the local Woolworth’s in Camden, New Jersey. She doesn’t know that 52 year-old Frank LaSalle, fresh out of prison, is watching her, preparing to make his move. Accosting her, Frank convinces Sally that he is an FBI agent who will have her arrested unless she does exactly what he says. RUST & STARDUST 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.The novel is based on the experiences of a real life kidnapping victim Sally Horner and her captor, whose story shocks the nation in 1948 and inspired Vladimir Nabokov to write his controversial and iconic Lolita.REVIEWRUST & STARDUST is haunting tale that every parent fears. It will shake you to your core to read this story from Sally’s perspective. T. GREENWOOD’s writing is phenomenal, presenting this horrific story in a beautiful and delicate way. You can’t help but fall in love with this naive, but brave little girl and your heart breaks for her everyday she is under the conniving spell of Frank LaSalle. You become deeply invested in every character of this book. You want someone to do something. You feel the intense pain, struggle and embarrassment that Ella, Sally’s mother feels. You cheer when Al, Sally’s brother-in-law goes to Baltimore and knocks on doors, and you even laugh when Sally meets Lena, a circus performer in Dallas for the first time. My favorite character was the hairdresser, Ruth, who cuts Sally’s hair and was the first person in Sally’s journey to show her any care or motherly love. The story is robust, full of well-developed characters, and riveting dialog. The title Rust & Stardust comes from a famous line in Lolita, and the words are independently masterfully woven into the story. This emotionally profound and eloquent novel is one of my favorite reads in 2018 and will not soon be forgotten. This is the first T. GREENWOOD book I’ve read, and I am so looking forward to reading more of her work. I have already purchased The Golden Hour(2017). Greenwood is the author of twelve novels. She has won three San Diego book awards and she teaches creative writing for San Diego’s Writer’s Ink and online for The Writer’s Center. She and her husband and two daughters live in San Diego, California. Thanks to Netgalley and St Martin’s Press for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Publisher St. Martin’s PressPublished August 7, 2018Review www.bluestockingreviews.com
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  •  ⚔ Sh3lly - Grumpy Name-Changing Wanderer ⚔
    January 1, 1970
    Oh dear. When I was invited to read this title from St. Martin's I said yes, because... I love St. Martin's! However, I only request fantasy books (except an occasional romance). I had NO idea this was a fictional re-telling of a REAL LIFE kidnapping of an 11-year-old girl who was the inspiration for Lolita. I DNF'd that book and gave it one star. So, had I known this, I would never have downloaded it. Oops, my bad, I guess?I read about 20% and then went to the end when I figured out what was go Oh dear. When I was invited to read this title from St. Martin's I said yes, because... I love St. Martin's! However, I only request fantasy books (except an occasional romance). I had NO idea this was a fictional re-telling of a REAL LIFE kidnapping of an 11-year-old girl who was the inspiration for Lolita. I DNF'd that book and gave it one star. So, had I known this, I would never have downloaded it. Oops, my bad, I guess?I read about 20% and then went to the end when I figured out what was going on and started reading it backwards. The writing is good and it engaged me. I am just NOT the audience for this whatsoever. I can't handle bad stuff happening to kids.
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  • Dennis
    January 1, 1970
    So bear with me because I've never read Lolita and I was told that it inspired this gruesome, heartbreaking tale. It's 1948 and Sally Horner is a studious, 11 year old girl; desperate for the acceptance of her peers. Sally ends up being introduced to the elite core group of girls in her class and tries to engage in a friendship with them. In order for her to gain entry to this group of popular and powerful girls, Sally must steal something from the local store. As the girls enter the store, Sall So bear with me because I've never read Lolita and I was told that it inspired this gruesome, heartbreaking tale. It's 1948 and Sally Horner is a studious, 11 year old girl; desperate for the acceptance of her peers. Sally ends up being introduced to the elite core group of girls in her class and tries to engage in a friendship with them. In order for her to gain entry to this group of popular and powerful girls, Sally must steal something from the local store. As the girls enter the store, Sally tries to steal a notebook, but she is quickly apprehended by a man claiming to be a FBI. Sally, nervous and innocent, believes this man to be true and follows his orders—do everything he says or he will be sending her to prison. Sally ends up embarking with this man for years, traveling from city to city, with excuse after excuse. Her family is worried sick about her, especially her mother Ella. Ella feels responsible for the kidnapping of her daughter and the guilt is exacerbated when the police find out that she was taken by Frank LaSalle, a serial rapist and con-artist. In a several-years long cat and mouse game, Sally and Frank disappear from the world they left behind. Rust and Stardust is a fiction novel, but is based on the experience of real-life victim Sally Horner and her captor Frank LaSalle. These two people actually did exist in history and their story is virtually the same as how T. Greenwood told it. The story is strong and gripping, while also emotional and personal. I was absolutely captured by the story and emotionally triggered by Sally and her experience and with Frank. Every single character (minus Frank) is relatable, and likeable in some capacity. It almost received five stars from me, but the story features a lot of irrelevant POVs that could have been removed, allowing for the focus to be more on Sally, her mother, her sister, and her neighbor Ruth. While the amount of pointless POVs kind of deterred me from absolutely falling enamored with this story, I don't think it really takes away from the story or the experience—I may just be a little too critical. I read Rust and Stardust in one sitting, so you know it's fast-paced and hypnotizing. I truly think this will be one of the blockbuster hits of this summer, no wait, this year!
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  • Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
    January 1, 1970
    I don't think a book has hit me this hard in quite some time. It's important to realize that while this is based on true events, it is actually still a work of fiction. Take some time and research the actual case to get a full idea of everything that happened. I highly recommend that you read the author's note at the end.As the real life events that helped inspire Nabokov's Lolita, we already know what to expect from this read. It's not a topic that's easy to read about for some. Greenwood write I don't think a book has hit me this hard in quite some time. It's important to realize that while this is based on true events, it is actually still a work of fiction. Take some time and research the actual case to get a full idea of everything that happened. I highly recommend that you read the author's note at the end.As the real life events that helped inspire Nabokov's Lolita, we already know what to expect from this read. It's not a topic that's easy to read about for some. Greenwood writes with such poetic ease, that this story just jumps off the pages and you find yourself turning page after page after page.The thing that stand out is that we have to remember this happened in 1958. While I was reading I kept wondering HOW did he get away with this? Why wasn't anyone helping Sally?! Of course, things were different then and it was harder to trace a person. What Sally endured during her two years of abduction was terrifying and the author does an amazing job of letting Sally be heard.Told through various POVs: Sally, her family, those who came into contact with her and made her feel somewhat safe at the various locations she ended up at... while fictionalized, Greenwood gives us a full view of what might have been based on the facts that are available. Educate your children. This was so heart breaking. It actually makes me somewhat glad I don't have any children so I won't have to worry about this to a daughter of my own. I'm ever grateful now for the Amber Alerts that help to make catching these monsters a bit easier.I could go on and on and on and on. Instead, I'll stop here and just tell you to read this. Once you pick this up, it'll be hard for you to put this down. I know this will be sticking with me for quite some time. Sally, I heard you.Thank you to St. Martin's Press for this copy.
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  • Judy Collins
    January 1, 1970
    Bestselling author T. Greenwood (one of my favorite authors) returns following (2017) The Golden Hour with her best yet (of course, I say this after reading each one) with RUST AND STARDUST —a beautifully written and compelling retelling of a haunting true-crime story that inspired Nabokov’s Lolita. Top Books of 2018! A tragic story of the eleven-year-old Sally Horner. A brutal 1940’s kidnapping. From the heartbreak to the people Sally touched along the way —as this tragedy unfolds. T. Green Bestselling author T. Greenwood (one of my favorite authors) returns following (2017) The Golden Hour with her best yet (of course, I say this after reading each one) with RUST AND STARDUST —a beautifully written and compelling retelling of a haunting true-crime story that inspired Nabokov’s Lolita. Top Books of 2018! A tragic story of the eleven-year-old Sally Horner. A brutal 1940’s kidnapping. From the heartbreak to the people Sally touched along the way —as this tragedy unfolds. T. Greenwood is the perfect author to pen this incredible story.An innocent girl, from a poor family. Camden, NJ, 1948. A single mother, a seamstress with a debilitating arthritic disability, with little time or energy left over for Sally. The older sister is married, and Sally must take care of her mother. However, like most young girls, she wants to fit in with the popular girls at school. To be a part of their club. To become a part of their group, the mean girls want her to steal something. This is not something Sally wants to do. However, she takes a composition notebook from Woolworths. (I recall as a girl, my aunt took me to the local Woolworths and remembered men sitting at the soda counter. Of course, my aunt brought me along so she could flirt from the table across from the counter). I can envision this story playing out. Chilling. There happened to be a man at the counter to witnesses the event and is ready to prey on this young innocent girl. Frank LaSalle, who goes by Mr. Warner— posing as an FBI agent. He is a convicted felon. He tricks her. A scheme. He is an adult, an authority figure (so she thinks), so she feels she has to follow his orders, or he will hurt her family. He warns her to tell no one and follow his instructions. She believes him.Little does she know or her mother what this horrible man is capable of. He instructs her to tell her mother they are going on a trip (father of her friend). The mother allows her to go. With no idea, her little girl will be in the hands of a rapist and pedophile.On the road from one town to another, Sally is held, hostage. He mentally and physically abuses her. However, along the way, Sally meets caring people. She hopes and prays someone will save her from this man and reunite her with her family. He locks her away, and she is unable to escape for two years traveling across the country. Greenwood alternates between POV of Sally and her mother. Then there are more characters as the hunt continues. From a teacher, a woman at a trailer park, circus people, and later the girls. Finally by the time the family figures out Sally is in real danger, the harder it is to track them. Sally’s brother in law is diligent, as well as others who begin to discover what is really going on.Rather than focusing on the horrors only, Greenwood zooms in what it was like for Sally. Her dreams, hopes, and fears. The steadfast love and perseverance that eventually brought her home.Signature Greenwood style, the author creates her skillful magic turning something heartbreaking and sad into stardust as the story comes to life. Inspired by history an eloquently blending of characters and events —from compassion and heart.As the author mentions in her notes, this is not a true-crime story in the traditional way. She took liberties with some fictional portions, and others mirrored history. While she drew heavily on Sally’s heartbreaking story, the novel is ultimately an imagined rendering of the years she spent on the road with her captor and the impact of her abduction— and those Sally encountered along the way as well as those she left behind.As a nana of an eleven-year-old granddaughter, I know all too well at this age, even today there is so much peer pressure with social media. They want to fit in and can be easily persuaded to do things without the forethought of the consequences. To realize this could happen today when someone tries to pass themselves off as an authority figure. We want to guard our children against the evils of our world.Thank you, for writing this emotional, beautiful and heartbreaking story! The author has outdone herself. Both lyrical and haunting— Sally would be proud! Her voice speaks through each page—the bright and shining star. A fitting title. As Greenwood references in her writing, author Sarah Wineman. Be sure an add to your book list, The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel that Scandalized the World,coming Sept 11, 2018. Sally Horner’s story echoes the stories of countless girls and women who never had the chance to speak for themselves. By diving more in-depth in the publication history of Lolita and restoring Sally to her rightful place in the lore of the novel’s creation, The Real Lolita casts a new light on the dark inspiration for a modern classic. Highly Recommend both books. A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy. “And the rest is rust and stardust.”– Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita JDCMustReadBooks More of my T Greenwood reviews (plus more not listed here): The Golden Hour Books of 2017 Where I Lost Her Top Books of 2016 The Forever Bridge Top Books of 2015
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  • Kate Vocke
    January 1, 1970
    I'm trying to find the words for this one and they're just not there. This book is THAT good. I'm sitting here staring at the cover with the pin and the red ribbon, and trying to figure out how to put into words the love I have for a story so tragic. I found myself holding my breath through almost the whole thing. To say it had all the feels, is overly underestimating. The feels are overflowing and I might not have any feels left!Rust & Stardust is based on a true story. The story of 11 year I'm trying to find the words for this one and they're just not there. This book is THAT good. I'm sitting here staring at the cover with the pin and the red ribbon, and trying to figure out how to put into words the love I have for a story so tragic. I found myself holding my breath through almost the whole thing. To say it had all the feels, is overly underestimating. The feels are overflowing and I might not have any feels left!Rust & Stardust is based on a true story. The story of 11 year old Sally Horner, who was kidnapped from Camden, NJ in 1948 by an insanely disgusting man named Frank LaSalle, a convicted rapist and child molester. The book is not 100% true, but T. Greenwood weaves a tale by filling in some characters and plotlines, and imagines the thoughts that went though Sally's mind as Frank both physically and mentally assaults her while dragging her across the country over 2 years. Sally's story is heartbreaking, and she is the the most curious, innocent, naive little girl. You root for her to find strength, to build courage, to finally get home. She is fortunate enough to meet some beautifully caring people on her journey who make her life a little bit bearable, and the way Sally touches so many lives along the way is inspiring. We not only follow Sally and some of the people she meets along the way, but also how the tragedy affects her family, including her grieving and widowed mother, who has lost so very much already.And side note - it is said that Vladimir Nabokov's bestselling novel, Lolita, was drawn on the details of Sally's story as well as several other similar cases. They call her "The Real Lolita." It is also said that Sally Horner's ordeal was much worse ... so it's hardly an accurate homage, but both saddening and maddening the same.I didn't know much about Sally's story going into this book. I prefer reading things this way and was SHOCKED at the end. This beautifully written story is definitely a sad read, but it's also uplifting to see how many lives Sally touched. Sally just comes alive across the pages and is intensely adorable. T. Greenwood has impressively crafted the homage that Sally deserves. I cannot recommend this book enough. It's worth all the loss of feels and all the loss of breath.
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  • Judy
    January 1, 1970
    This book caught my attention with its eye-catching cover and interesting title - not what I expected at all! Tucked into Greenwood's beautiful, lyrical prose is a heart-breaking story of a little eleven-year-old girl, Sally Horner, who was kidnapped in Camden, New Jersey in 1948. Sally lives with her mother, who has a hard time getting around due to illness. Her father committed suicide several years earlier. Sally has a hard time making friends and in order to be initiated into a group she ste This book caught my attention with its eye-catching cover and interesting title - not what I expected at all! Tucked into Greenwood's beautiful, lyrical prose is a heart-breaking story of a little eleven-year-old girl, Sally Horner, who was kidnapped in Camden, New Jersey in 1948. Sally lives with her mother, who has a hard time getting around due to illness. Her father committed suicide several years earlier. Sally has a hard time making friends and in order to be initiated into a group she steals something from a department store and a man accosts her and says he's from the FBI and she must go with him.I loved Greenwood's writing style and his characters were well developed. I really liked the character Ruth who met Sally at a trailer park. I read that this story was based on the true-to-life kidnapping of 11-year-old Florence “Sally” Horner in 1958. I recommend this book and even though it was tragic, I couldn't put it down until I had read to the very end.Thanks. to T. Greenwood and St. Martin's Press through Netgalley for an advance copy.
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