When Stars Rain Down
Stock No: WW240442
When Stars Rain Down  -     By: Angela Jackson Brown

When Stars Rain Down

Thomas Nelson / 2021 / Paperback

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Product Description

They promised her a Founder's Day celebration like none before. In 1936 Georgia, Opal Pruitt is on the cusp of adulthood---in a town withering from drought and plagued by the aftereffects of the Great Depression and Reconstruction. The Ku Klux Klan terrifies residents with beatings and property burnings. When the violence touches Opal's life, look out! 368 pages, softcover from Nelson.

Product Information

Title: When Stars Rain Down
By: Angela Jackson Brown
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 368
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2021
Dimensions: 7.17 X 4.71 (inches)
Weight: 10 ounces
ISBN: 0785240446
ISBN-13: 9780785240440
Stock No: WW240442

Publisher's Description

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.

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.

  • 2021 Langum Prize in American Historical Fiction – Finalist
  • Historical fiction set in the rural south 
  • Stand-alone novel
  • Book length: 101,000 words
  • Includes discussion questions for book clubs

"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

Author Bio

Angela Jackson-Brown is an award-winning writer, poet, and playwright who is a member of the graduate faculty of the Naslund-Mann Graduate School of Writing at Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. In the fall semester of 2022, she will be joining the creative writing program at Indiana University Bloomington as an associate professor. Angela is a graduate of Troy University, Auburn University, and the Spalding low-residency MFA program in creative writing. She has published her short fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry in journals like the Louisville Courier Journal and Appalachian Review. She is the author of Drinking from a Bitter Cup, House Repairs, When Stars Rain Down, and the upcoming novel The Light Always Breaks. When Stars Rain Down is a highly acclaimed novel that received a starred review from Library Journal and glowing reviews from Alabama Public Library, Buzzfeed, Parade magazine, and Woman's Weekly. It was also a finalist for the David J. Langum, Sr. Prize in American historical fiction.

Editorial Reviews

'All in all, When Stars Rain Down is worthy of any reader's attention--especially fans of Southern literature. The writing is eloquent, the story is filled with conflict and tension balanced by warmth and charity, the characters are vivid and well-developed, and the impact is profound. This is the kind of book that will resonate long after the last pages are read.' -- Southern Literary Review

'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

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

'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

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