When Stars Rain Down

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18-year-old Opal is a young Black woman working as a housekeeper in a small Southern town in the 1930s--and then the Klan descends. A moving story that confronts America's tragic past, When Stars Rain Down is both heartwarming and heart-wrenching. This summer has the potential to change everything. The summer of 1936...
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18-year-old Opal is a young Black woman working as a housekeeper in a small Southern town in the 1930s--and then the Klan descends. A moving story that confronts America's tragic past, When Stars Rain Down is both heartwarming and heart-wrenching.

This summer has the potential to change everything.

The summer of 1936 in Parsons, Georgia, is unseasonably hot, and Opal Pruitt senses a nameless storm brewing. She hopes this foreboding feeling won't overshadow her upcoming 18th birthday or the annual Founder's Day celebration in just a few weeks. She and her Grandma Birdie work as housekeepers for the white widow Miss Peggy, and Opal desperately wants some time to be young and carefree with her cousins and friends.

But when the Ku Klux Klan descends on Opal's neighborhood, the tight-knit community is shaken in every way possible. Parsons's residents--both Black and white--are forced to acknowledge the unspoken codes of conduct in their post-Reconstruction era town. To complicate matters, Opal finds herself torn between two unexpected romantic interests--the son of her pastor, Cedric Perkins, and the white grandson of the woman she works for, Jimmy Earl Ketchums. Both young men awaken emotions Opal has never felt before.

Faced with love, loss, and a harsh awakening to an ugly world, Opal holds tight to her family and faith--and the hope for change.

  • Historical fiction set in the rural south
  • Stand-alone novel
  • Book length: 101,000 words
  • Includes discussion questions for book clubs

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"When Stars Rain Down is so powerful, timely, and compelling that sometimes I found myself holding my breath while reading it. Rarely have I been so attached to characters and felt so transported to a time and place. This is an important and beautifully written must-read of a novel. Opal is a character I will never forget." --Silas House, author of Southernmost

"Angela Jackson-Brown interrogates race, love and family with empathy and style, making her an author you will want to read again and again. This tale of America's tragic past is both compelling and cinematic as the Pruitt and Ketchum families struggle in the mire of racism in the 1930s. It's a moving novel that boldly illuminates the past but also speaks directly to today's politics and the power of faith. You will fall in love with the book's resilient protagonist Opal. I certainly did." --Crystal Wilkinson, author of The Birds of Opulence

"In this world there are writers and there are artists. Angela Jackson-Brown is both." --Sean Dietrich (Sean of the South), author of Stars of Alabama

'Jackson-Brown (House Repairs) paints a vivid picture of family and community persevering in the pressure cooker of the Deep South . . . This is a powerful Own Voices contribution to the historical fiction genre, joining titles such as Alka Joshi's The Henna Artist and Kim Michele Richardson's The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek in their unflinching look at the past.'--Library Journal, starred review
'Along the way, [Jackson-Brown] deals with a series of issues: racism, teenage love, the death of our elders. These issues are not just talked through. Jackson-Brown the dramatist presents them in a series of carefully crafted scenes, almost one-act plays. Once in a while, one reads a novel and can already see the film to be made from it.'--Alabama Public Radio

 

When Stars Rain Down is so powerful, timely, and compelling that sometimes I found myself holding my breath while reading it. Rarely have I been so attached to characters and felt so transported to a time and place. This is an important and beautifully written must-read of a novel. Opal is a character I will never forget.----Silas House, author of Southernmost

In this world there are writers and there are artists. Angela Jackson-Brown is both.----Sean Dietrich (Sean of the South), author of Stars of Alabama

Angela Jackson Brown interrogates race, love and family with empathy and style, making her an author you will want to read again and again. This tale of America's tragic past is both compelling and cinematic as the Pruitt and Ketchum families struggle in the mire of racism in the 1930s. It's a moving novel that boldly illuminates the past but also speaks directly to today's politics and the power of faith. You will fall in love with the book's resilient protagonist Opal. I certainly did.----Crystal Wilkinson, author of The Birds of Opulence

'When Stars Rain Down is a book with religious themes, but if that's not your preference, don't let that stop you. The writing is beautiful, the story compelling, the characters vividly drawn, and religion is a backdrop, not the main story. Opal's voice is pitch-perfect, and the plot has enough surprises to keep you turning pages late into the night. I give this book a whole-hearted thumbs up.'--Historical Novel Society
Binding: Paperback
Pub Date: April 13, 2021
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When Stars Rain Down
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