The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls Summary Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Silver Star

Plot Summary Part 3

She is suspended from school for getting in a fight with a classmate who implies she is a prostitute. The kids make fun of Liz but then start to respect her when Liz beats up another girl.

To get even with Maddox, Liz has her cousin Joe slash the tires of Maddox's car. But Maddox figures out Joe did this and comes over to their house. He tells Joe's father, who works for the mill where Maddox is the supervisor, that if Joe's father does not whip his Joe, Joe's father will be fired.

So Joe's father, acting like a slave, gets a belt and whips his son in front of Maddox. Wack! Wack!  Wack! This is by far the funniest moment of the story. Maddox is so pleased he even invites Joe's father out for a beer after he whips his son. Joe's father acts like his balls have been cut off.

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Liz starts going crazy, hearing voices in her head. Since her mom was crazy, it is very likely that Liz got her mom's bad crazy genes and she is going crazy as well.

Maddox goes on trial. Liz takes the stand and reveals that her family had ample reason to hate Maddox and to make up stories about him. Liz admits that she never told the police that Maddox repeatedly tried to run her down with his car. Liz is made to look like a liar on the stand. When Wayne is called to testify, he refuses to do so--Maddox has obviously gotten to him. Maddox is not convicted of assault.

Liz goes crazy and tries to kill herself with an overdose of sleeping pills. Uncle Tinsley sticks a finger down her throat to make her throw up. Liz does not die.

This is another part I don't understand. So Maddox was not convicted. He didn't actually rape Liz. This isn't such a big deal that a person would want to die for it. This whole story feels like an unpleasant event--Maddox coming onto Liz--is made into a life or death situation, making the story much bigger than it would be in actual life.

Liz's Mom, who came back for the trial, drives away to continue to pursue her "singing career".

Things don't end up well for Maddox. He got fired from his job at the mill. When he was acquitted of assault, he grew overconfident and started grabbing women's breasts and fighting with a coworker, which got him fired.

By the way, throughout the book, Liz and Bean stare at some Emus (big birds) on a neighboring property. Every few chapters they talk about the Emus. I'm sure it has some important significance to the author, but does not seem to have the slightest connection to the rest of the story.

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