My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I saw Rust & Stardust on many lists this year. The cover kept popping up everywhere. And without knowing the content, I decided to check it out from the library.
Boy, was this a hard book to read. The content was heartbreaking and extremely disturbing. Trigger alert for sexual assault. There were times when I wasn’t sure if I was going to continue reading because I found it sickening and upsetting. However, the storytelling by T. Greenwood is so fantastic that I wanted to find out what happened next.
The story is set in the late 1940’s when eleven-year-old Sally Horner is abducted by Frank LaSalle, a convict and child rapist who tricks her into thinking he is an FBI agent taking her into custody for stealing a notebook from a local store. Think Elizabeth Smart in an era with no advanced technology and archaic police work. What follows is the horrifying tale of Sally’s imprisonment, but what I did not expect were the heartwarming moments and glimpses of happiness Sally found along the way. The strangers who became friends and made her experience more bearable.
I did not care for the last hour or so of the audiobook. I didn’t understand why the last hour was included as I didn’t feel like it jived all that well with the rest of the story. Until I realized this was a true story…. I did not realize this story was based on true events until I read the Author’s Note at the end of the book. It blew me away. For ten hours, I was reading it as if it were a creation of T. Greenwood’s imagination, and while many of the details were manufactured, the overall content was reflective of events that really happened. Gut wrenching.
This book is definitely not for everybody. It is not for the faint of heart of those who cannot tolerate discussion of sexual assault, particularly of minors. But if you can get past all of that, it is a tremendous story and Sally Horner deserves for it to be told.