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When Stars Rain Down

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This summer has the potential to change everything. The summer of 1936 in Parsons, Georgia, is unseasonably hot, and Opal Pruitt can sense a nameless storm coming. She hopes this foreboding feeling won’t overshadow her upcoming eighteenth birthday or the annual Founder’s Day celebration in just a few weeks. As hard as she works in the home of the widow Miss Peggy, Opal enjo This summer has the potential to change everything. The summer of 1936 in Parsons, Georgia, is unseasonably hot, and Opal Pruitt can sense a nameless storm coming. She hopes this foreboding feeling won’t overshadow her upcoming eighteenth birthday or the annual Founder’s Day celebration in just a few weeks. As hard as she works in the home of the widow Miss Peggy, Opal enjoys having something to look forward to. But when the Ku Klux Klan descends on Opal’s neighborhood of Colored Town, the tight-knit community is shaken in every way. 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, awakening many new emotions. She never thought that becoming a woman would bring with it such complicated decisions about what type of person she wants to be. In When Stars Rain Down, Angela Jackson-Brown introduces us to a small Southern town grappling with haunting questions still relevant today—and to a young woman whose search for meaning resonates across the ages.


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This summer has the potential to change everything. The summer of 1936 in Parsons, Georgia, is unseasonably hot, and Opal Pruitt can sense a nameless storm coming. She hopes this foreboding feeling won’t overshadow her upcoming eighteenth birthday or the annual Founder’s Day celebration in just a few weeks. As hard as she works in the home of the widow Miss Peggy, Opal enjo This summer has the potential to change everything. The summer of 1936 in Parsons, Georgia, is unseasonably hot, and Opal Pruitt can sense a nameless storm coming. She hopes this foreboding feeling won’t overshadow her upcoming eighteenth birthday or the annual Founder’s Day celebration in just a few weeks. As hard as she works in the home of the widow Miss Peggy, Opal enjoys having something to look forward to. But when the Ku Klux Klan descends on Opal’s neighborhood of Colored Town, the tight-knit community is shaken in every way. 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, awakening many new emotions. She never thought that becoming a woman would bring with it such complicated decisions about what type of person she wants to be. In When Stars Rain Down, Angela Jackson-Brown introduces us to a small Southern town grappling with haunting questions still relevant today—and to a young woman whose search for meaning resonates across the ages.

30 review for When Stars Rain Down

  1. 4 out of 5

    Susanne Strong

    Review also published on blog: https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend... Beautiful. Emotional. Expressive. Heart-wrenching. Opal Pruitt is Seventeen, soon to be Eighteen in the Summer of 1936. On the cusp of adulthood, Opal has never kept company or been the victim of violence, but she’s about to experience both. Living in a neighborhood called “Colored Town” in Parsons, Georgia, racism, and segregation run rampant. No one is safe from the KKK, not even kind, hard-working, well-respected familie Review also published on blog: https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend... Beautiful. Emotional. Expressive. Heart-wrenching. Opal Pruitt is Seventeen, soon to be Eighteen in the Summer of 1936. On the cusp of adulthood, Opal has never kept company or been the victim of violence, but she’s about to experience both. Living in a neighborhood called “Colored Town” in Parsons, Georgia, racism, and segregation run rampant. No one is safe from the KKK, not even kind, hard-working, well-respected families who keep to themselves. Opal and her Granny keep house for Miss Peggy, who treats them like family or close to. The work makes Opal and her granny proud and provides a stable income to boot. For Opal, having the love and support of her granny and the rest of her family is almost enough. The only other thing she wants is to marry a good honest man. Though her granny isn’t quite ready for Opal to do so, she begins keeping company with a young man from Colored Town who has big dreams and a huge heart. When tragedy strikes, everything is torn asunder. Families, friendships, and relationships are destroyed. Teardrops fell. Truth is, big, fat tears, rolled steadily down this girl’s cheeks. What can I say? My love for “When Stars Rain Down” by Angela Jackson-Brown knows no bounds. The writing, the characters, and the storyline gripped me from the first sentence and didn’t let go till the last. My heart still aches for the characters in this novel and I think it will for a while. The writing here is lovely, lyrical, and poetic. “When Stars Rain Down” broke my heart and yet, I loved it desperately. It will most assuredly appear on my Goodreads best-of-list for 2021. For me, the character development is the backbone of this story as I adored the characters of Granny and Opal. Though this novel contains a difficult subject matter, it is brilliantly done and I highly recommend this powerhouse of a novel to lovers of character-driven literary fiction and historical fiction. Thank you to Netgalley, Thomas Nelson, and Angela Jackson-Brown for the arc. Published on Goodreads on 2.1.21.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Cheri

    It is the unseasonably hot summer of 1936 in Parsons, Georgia as this story begins, but this story felt so timely that it was only when certain phrases were used that I would remember that this was not set in the present time. Opal is a young woman who is at the age where she is beginning to attract the attention of boys, but young enough that her grandmother, who raised her after her mother left, is wary of the two young men who are paying attention to her. But despite her protective nature, sh It is the unseasonably hot summer of 1936 in Parsons, Georgia as this story begins, but this story felt so timely that it was only when certain phrases were used that I would remember that this was not set in the present time. Opal is a young woman who is at the age where she is beginning to attract the attention of boys, but young enough that her grandmother, who raised her after her mother left, is wary of the two young men who are paying attention to her. But despite her protective nature, she realizes that her grand-daughter will eventually grow to be a woman, and that time is not all that far off. She also believes that Opal won’t be swayed by the wrong young man, and that Opal’s moral compass will not lead her astray. This is Opal’s story, but it is also so much more. It is the story of the growth of shadow of the KKK looming over the lives of those people living in places like Opal’s home town, Colored Town. People just trying to live in peace, but whose very existence seemed to threaten others because of the colour of their skin. This is also the story of young love, jealousy, aspirations and determination, the search for knowledge outside of our own, and the search for a life that feels like that place that Dorothy goes searching for, only to realize it was there all along. Home. Our own personal definition of that place where we turn to for comfort and love and acceptance, surrounded by those who help us through these storms that life brings with it, along with the lessons we never wanted to learn. ’This world we living in is ‘bout ready to explode and send us all into little bitty unrecognizable pieces. The best thing we can all do is to move past moments like this.’ Angela Jackson-Brown’s research brings this place, these people and these years and events to life in this story. I was so completely invested in this story that I had to force myself to set it down when I reached the halfway point, saving the rest for another day. And when I reached the last page, after already shedding many tears, I was sad that it had ended, but not for the ending... I just wanted to hear the story of the rest of Opal’s life, I wasn’t ready to let her go, or Miss Lovenia, or her granny. There is so much love and beauty in this story, despite the horrors wrought by white supremicists. In times when there has been so much demonstration of hate, then and recently, this is a story about love, and love conquering all. Pub Date: 13 Apr 2021 Many thanks for the ARC provided by Thomas Nelson -- FICTION / Thomas Nelson #WhenStarsRainDown #NetGalley

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    When Stars Rain Down is an emotionally heart breaking read about a coming-of-age story set in 1936. The story is about eighteen year old Opal Pruitt who is from a small southern town in Parsons, Georgia in a neighborhood called Colored Town. The story is about racism, the KKK, segregation, racial hatred, and violence that is experienced by the black community in this once peaceful town. But it is also about courage, community, compassion, and hope. The writing is from the point of view of our MC When Stars Rain Down is an emotionally heart breaking read about a coming-of-age story set in 1936. The story is about eighteen year old Opal Pruitt who is from a small southern town in Parsons, Georgia in a neighborhood called Colored Town. The story is about racism, the KKK, segregation, racial hatred, and violence that is experienced by the black community in this once peaceful town. But it is also about courage, community, compassion, and hope. The writing is from the point of view of our MC Opal, as told in the first person, where the readers will feel the deep emotions, pain and suffering, and also happiness and pure joy. This certainly is an immersive story that is just as relevant today as it was in the 1930’s. This relatable story is so special that we find a little bit of ourselves in Opal’s voice. A must read!

  4. 4 out of 5

    ʚϊɞ Shelley's ʚϊɞ Book Nook

    This world we living in is ’bout ready to explode and send us all into little bitty unrecognizable pieces. The best thing we can all do is to move past moments like this. This ain’t the time to get sideways in our thinking. This book will be one of my favourite reads of 2021. Southern Historical Fiction is my favourite genre and this book was everything I was hoping it would be. This story was so compelling that every word and every character will stay with me. No story that I ha This world we living in is ’bout ready to explode and send us all into little bitty unrecognizable pieces. The best thing we can all do is to move past moments like this. This ain’t the time to get sideways in our thinking. This book will be one of my favourite reads of 2021. Southern Historical Fiction is my favourite genre and this book was everything I was hoping it would be. This story was so compelling that every word and every character will stay with me. No story that I have ever read brought me to a black community and sat me down in the midst of their life and the struggles, pain, hate and abuse they suffered. The is one of very few books in my life that put me emotionally in to the story.. I cried, I laughed I got very angry I got very embarrassed... and then I found peace. This isn't a book it's a moving experience. This book is incredible. The themes of race, friendship, forgiveness, personal growth, empowerment, and love are beautifully intertwined. I can’t even describe how intricate the story is. It is simultaneously a heart wrenching and heart warming story, and I strongly recommend When Stars Rain Down to anyone who loves and appreciates the written word. Disclosure: Thank you NetGalley, Angela Jackson-Brown and Thomas Nelson for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an impartial review; all opinions are my own. #WhenStarsRainDown #NetGalley

  5. 5 out of 5

    Megan Rivera

    The summer of 1936 in Parsons, Georgia, is unseasonably hot, and Opal Pruitt can sense a nameless storm coming. She hopes this foreboding feeling won’t overshadow her upcoming eighteenth birthday or the annual Founder’s Day celebration in just a few weeks. This was a great book and thank you to NetGalley for allowing me to read this book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Leisa

    When a book makes you cry so hard and long that your family comes running to see what’s happened, you know you’ve landed in the world of an unforgettable book.  Angela Jackson-Brown took me on a beautiful, heartbreaking journey in When Stars Rain Down, and it’s one I won’t soon forget.    What I Loved: ✨The author’s masterful depiction of 1930’s small town southern culture ✨The main characters of Opal and Birdie.  The character development here is outstanding, and I felt like I knew both of them as When a book makes you cry so hard and long that your family comes running to see what’s happened, you know you’ve landed in the world of an unforgettable book.  Angela Jackson-Brown took me on a beautiful, heartbreaking journey in When Stars Rain Down, and it’s one I won’t soon forget.    What I Loved: ✨The author’s masterful depiction of 1930’s small town southern culture ✨The main characters of Opal and Birdie.  The character development here is outstanding, and I felt like I knew both of them as dear and treasured friends. ✨It’s never easy to read about a time and place that was so tragic and appalling, but it’s also necessary because we must bear witness to the atrocities of history so that we may learn from them and play our parts to create a better world. This is an #ownvoices book that gets it right in every way.   ✨The ending was bittersweet yet realistic.  There are no pretty bows to wrap up the Jim Crow south, but these characters chose to live in love and faith in spite of everything – and they inspired me deeply. ✨The faith element in When Stars Rained is so authentic and profound that it’s truly believable and deeply-felt. If you struggle, as I sometimes do, with Christian fiction that can be affected or overly saccharine, then I hope you will give this remarkable book a chance.  It is a truly amazing read and one that I will purchase for my personal collection after having read the advanced readers’ copy.   My thanks to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  This will be in stores on April 13, and you’re going to want to grab your own copy.  

  7. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Opal is an almost 18 year old lady who lives in Georgia in 1936. She and her granny work for Miss Peggy. A terrible storm is coming to Opal and her family. I loved the characters of Opal and Granny. Granny had so much faith and live for those around her. She kept a cool head even during times that were beyond imaginable. Opal experienced such awful things and yet she kept going each day and did everything she could to be there for her family. I did not care for the character of Lovenia. I didn't Opal is an almost 18 year old lady who lives in Georgia in 1936. She and her granny work for Miss Peggy. A terrible storm is coming to Opal and her family. I loved the characters of Opal and Granny. Granny had so much faith and live for those around her. She kept a cool head even during times that were beyond imaginable. Opal experienced such awful things and yet she kept going each day and did everything she could to be there for her family. I did not care for the character of Lovenia. I didn't see how that fit in with the story. Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for the arc. The opinions are my own.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    When Stars Rain Down by Angela Jackson-Brown is an excellent Southern historical fiction that takes the reader straight into the heart of the summer of 1936 in Georgia. Here we are thrown into the middle of the sticky, humid, unrelenting heat of a deep south summer that is teeming with more then just high temperatures: a tightrope balancing between the coming changes and the dark past and present of segregation, smothering past of slavery, and the aftermath of all that entails. I loved a lot of When Stars Rain Down by Angela Jackson-Brown is an excellent Southern historical fiction that takes the reader straight into the heart of the summer of 1936 in Georgia. Here we are thrown into the middle of the sticky, humid, unrelenting heat of a deep south summer that is teeming with more then just high temperatures: a tightrope balancing between the coming changes and the dark past and present of segregation, smothering past of slavery, and the aftermath of all that entails. I loved a lot of things about this book: The author does a fantastic job placing the reader into the 1930s physical and societal landscapes of small town Georgia. I could literally feel the dust rising up on the dry roads, the sun beating down on my back, the smell of biscuits baking in the oven, and the fear, tension, love, anger, loss, family, and emotions crackling in the air. She did an excellent job depicting the dialect, attitude, character development, and descriptions of the locations within this story. I enjoyed Opal. She was young, yet wise beyond her years. She did not finish school, but yet she knew so much. She was likable, strong, and beautiful, yet she was flawed, fragile, and naive. I enjoyed seeing her growth, change, and her eventual newfound relationship. I also loved her Granny. She was a wise and sweet woman. It was hard to read about how the African American community was treated. Despite all that I have read, it obviously never gets easier, as it should never. It was truly heartbreaking to see the hurt, hardships, uncertainty, fear, and life-altering occurrences that happened every day. The author did a great job depicting this all the while weaving a wondrous tale of young Opal, her family and town, and that pivotal summer. It kept me engaged and drawn to each page desperate to find out what happens. I liked the bittersweet ending and thought it was realistic, gravitational, and appropriate. This is the first book I have read from this author, and I look forward to more. 5/5 stars Thank you EW and Thomas Nelson for this wonderful ARC and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. I am posting this review to my GR, Instagram, and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 4/13/21.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    I enjoyed this book sooooooo much! Opal's story is just one of many voices needing to be told. This new to me author has done a satisfactory job in telling Opal's story and making her seem so real that at times I could feel her pain. I was not happy at the treatment of Opal. In fact I was rather sad. I've often asked myself why we can't get along. It's a shame. I found myself praying that everything would turn out OK for my favorite person. I've felt like I've made friends in this beautiful heartwarm I enjoyed this book sooooooo much! Opal's story is just one of many voices needing to be told. This new to me author has done a satisfactory job in telling Opal's story and making her seem so real that at times I could feel her pain. I was not happy at the treatment of Opal. In fact I was rather sad. I've often asked myself why we can't get along. It's a shame. I found myself praying that everything would turn out OK for my favorite person. I've felt like I've made friends in this beautiful heartwarming story. most favorite part of the story was that it was told from Opal's point of view. I felt so connected easier this way. I was very impressed with the style of writing from this new to me new author. She's fantastic! My thanks to Netgalley for a copy of this book.. I was NOT required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own. 5 stars for the voices in this book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Trisha

    I love this cover! It's gorgeous! I love this cover! It's gorgeous!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Chris Jager

    Let me first recommend this book for any and all that have said, I love to read fiction that teaches me something. When Stars Rain Down will do just that? What was it like to be a teenage girl in a small town in Georgia? What difference did it make if you were an African American? Angela Jackson Brown takes us on that journey, and it is heart wrenching at times, funny and wonderful at others. Opal is on the cusp of womanhood in 1936 and was excited to for upcoming Founder's Day. It was the only ti Let me first recommend this book for any and all that have said, I love to read fiction that teaches me something. When Stars Rain Down will do just that? What was it like to be a teenage girl in a small town in Georgia? What difference did it make if you were an African American? Angela Jackson Brown takes us on that journey, and it is heart wrenching at times, funny and wonderful at others. Opal is on the cusp of womanhood in 1936 and was excited to for upcoming Founder's Day. It was the only time the whole town turned out together. It will be a Founder's Day to remember. This book did not leave me comfortable, and it was downright difficult to reads sometimes. But I am so glad I read it. *one warning there is language in the book that will make some uncomfortable but is what was the correct use of the time. It makes the book even more authentic. Don't let it scare you away from this book, it is what we need to learn

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alexanderia

    Thank you to NetGalley for early access to this book! I think the story has the ability to open a dialogue between different sets of people and help everyone understand the fear that people lived in when the KKK ran rampant through the states. I spent many summers and spring vacations in Georgia with my Grams and Auntie so I know the heat, but I also know the love in the South. It is a challenge for most people to try to think about a time when it was ok to just burn down someone’s chicken coup Thank you to NetGalley for early access to this book! I think the story has the ability to open a dialogue between different sets of people and help everyone understand the fear that people lived in when the KKK ran rampant through the states. I spent many summers and spring vacations in Georgia with my Grams and Auntie so I know the heat, but I also know the love in the South. It is a challenge for most people to try to think about a time when it was ok to just burn down someone’s chicken coup and receive no harsh punishment. The atrocities that Colored town had to endure are unimaginable but still so relevant today that it’s disheartening. I feel like I fall into the quote from the book, “One good white man by hisself can’t right all the wrongs in the world” but can’t I try? In today’s social media driven environment, it really only takes a small group of people to spur a change, but it takes a collective thought change from both sides to succeed. If I’m willing to do better and raise my children better, then the mistrust laid upon all white people should be lifted too. I felt that the characters that seemed to genuinely care for Opal and her family really did want the best for them and resented the horrible white men that were perpetrating such hate when it was not the collective thought of all white people. I think the family bond reaches all families, black white Asian or whatever, we all have our family to lean on and find support through. I found myself feeling like Opal and knowing that the book was going to come with sadness and I wasn’t wrong. By the last few chapters I was so invested in Granny and Opal that I needed the tissues. I cried, I laughed, I learned and I enjoyed every minute of the book. It was well written and used language common for the time and location. It definitely made me long for some sweet tea and Georgia peaches.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Chelsey

    I read this book in a day, I couldn’t put it down! What I liked: - The setting and tone of 1930s Georgia was well-executed. - The story was interesting, and well-paced. - By far the best part was the character development! I loved the main character, Opal, her Granny, their extended family, the love interest, the family friends/people that Opal worked for, all were so well-written. - This is not a white savior story and though there are times the white characters try to make it about themselves, I read this book in a day, I couldn’t put it down! What I liked: - The setting and tone of 1930s Georgia was well-executed. - The story was interesting, and well-paced. - By far the best part was the character development! I loved the main character, Opal, her Granny, their extended family, the love interest, the family friends/people that Opal worked for, all were so well-written. - This is not a white savior story and though there are times the white characters try to make it about themselves, Opal is having none of it! I found myself highlighting multiple quotes where this strong, amazing female lead articulates complex feelings and issues with beautiful, concise, fierce prose. -Also, as someone who is not religious, I really appreciated how religion was portrayed. The characters were religious without the book feeling preachy. It was character development, not morality propaganda for the reader. Thank you NetGalley, author, and publisher for the arc in exchange for an honest review. It was a beautiful story and I’m so glad I read it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Shoup

    When Stars Rain Down is not only a page-turner, but an insightful picture of black/white relations during the thirties--AND pertinent to now. I love the close, caring community of Black people that Angela Jackson-Brown created in this book. I thought she did a particularly good job of illustrating the damage that can be done by well-meaning white people who don't understand or refuse to accept the potential consequences of their actions to the black people they befriend. The end came as the best When Stars Rain Down is not only a page-turner, but an insightful picture of black/white relations during the thirties--AND pertinent to now. I love the close, caring community of Black people that Angela Jackson-Brown created in this book. I thought she did a particularly good job of illustrating the damage that can be done by well-meaning white people who don't understand or refuse to accept the potential consequences of their actions to the black people they befriend. The end came as the best kind of surprise to me. I'd never have predicted it but, once I read it, I felt the book couldn't have ended any other way. This would be a great book for classroom use and book club discussions!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea

    Thanks to NetGalley for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review. The year is 1936, and though slavery is in the past, segregation and racism still run rampant. 17-year-old Opal finds herself in love with two different boys, both of whom come with their own set of challenges. At the same time, the KKK have made their way into Opal’s neighborhood, and the community is torn apart. A great piece of historical fiction.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn Bryant

    When Stars Rain Down is a well-written portrayal of life and race relations in rural Georgia in the mid 1930s. The plot moves at a fitting pace, and the characters are well-developed and unique. The first person narrative allows for deep insight into the main character’s thoughts and feelings. The author paints vivid pictures of the setting with her words, and her expressive prose evokes a myriad of emotions. I appreciated the faith element which flows genuinely throughout the story. I really li When Stars Rain Down is a well-written portrayal of life and race relations in rural Georgia in the mid 1930s. The plot moves at a fitting pace, and the characters are well-developed and unique. The first person narrative allows for deep insight into the main character’s thoughts and feelings. The author paints vivid pictures of the setting with her words, and her expressive prose evokes a myriad of emotions. I appreciated the faith element which flows genuinely throughout the story. I really like this author’s style, but the actual story was just so-so for me. I received a copy of this book in e-book form from the publisher via netgalley. All opinions are my own.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    A powerful tale of race relations in Georgia in 1936. It was difficult to read some parts of how the African Americans were treated, but it is definitely a story that needed to be told. Still relevant today with the racial tensions in our country. I look forward to more from this new-to-me author. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bonnye Reed

    I received a free electronic copy of this excellent Southern historical novel from Netgalley, author Angela Jackson-Brown, and Thomas Nelson, publisher. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read When Stars Rain Down of my own volition and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work. Ms. Jackson-Brown writes a compelling tale with empathy and grace. She is an author I am happy to recommend to friends and family. It's small-town Parsons, Georgia in 1936 and Opal Pruitt I received a free electronic copy of this excellent Southern historical novel from Netgalley, author Angela Jackson-Brown, and Thomas Nelson, publisher. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read When Stars Rain Down of my own volition and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work. Ms. Jackson-Brown writes a compelling tale with empathy and grace. She is an author I am happy to recommend to friends and family. It's small-town Parsons, Georgia in 1936 and Opal Pruitt is looking forward to her 18th birthday. Raised by her grandmother Birdie from infanthood after her mother ran away, Opal has little experience with life as we know it today, and Grannie is very protective of her. She is also cosseted by her maternal uncles and kin to most of the families in Colored Town, just down the road from Parsons. After completing a basic education Opal quit school and began to accompany her grandmother to the home of Miss Peggy, Birdie's best friend and employer. Peggy and her son Jimmy Earl were true friends to the Pruitt family, and Opal is slowly taking over her Granny's role in the upkeep and maintenance of their home as both Birdie and Peggy slow down with the aches and pains of age. Social necessities that came down through the years in the south affected both blacks and whites. There was a way things were handled in those days between the races that must be followed, honored on both sides of the equation, but many people were able to get beyond that. Birdie and Peggy lead the way to finding friendship and equality, despite the local presence of the KKK and a family of whites who refused to see that the world had changed around them. Opal grows up fast, encountering both the sudden attraction of boys and victimization, but she doesn't let it warp her spirit or her view of the life she wants to live. These are people you will enjoy meeting, and sharing time and memories with. This is an author I will follow. publishing date April 13, 2021 Publisher Thomas Nelson Reviewed on March 29, 2021, at Goodreads and Netgalley. Reviewed on April 13, 2021, at AmazonSmile, Barnes&Noble, BookBub, Kobo, and GooglePlay.

  19. 4 out of 5

    JoAnn

    When Stars Rain Down is a very well written historical book. Set during the mid 1930s this book deals with the life of a young woman of color, race relations and the Klan. This author is new to me and I look forward to reading more books by her. I received an advance ebook from the publisher and Netgalley and this is my unbiased review review.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    WHEN STARS RAIN DOWN BY ANGELA JACKSON-BROWN It is 1936 in Parsons, Georgia and it is the hottest, stifling summer that this community has endured. I wondered if the heat was symbolism for what the African American's that are so loving in this beautiful, heartbreaking tale are battling and the heat foreshadows the claustrophobia of feeling like there is a storm brewing. The narrator named Opal is on the cusp of turning eighteen years old. She lives with her Granny and they reminded me how close I WHEN STARS RAIN DOWN BY ANGELA JACKSON-BROWN It is 1936 in Parsons, Georgia and it is the hottest, stifling summer that this community has endured. I wondered if the heat was symbolism for what the African American's that are so loving in this beautiful, heartbreaking tale are battling and the heat foreshadows the claustrophobia of feeling like there is a storm brewing. The narrator named Opal is on the cusp of turning eighteen years old. She lives with her Granny and they reminded me how close I was with both of my Grandmother's. The love that these two share is deep and palpable warmth. Opal and Granny work for a white family cooking and cleaning. Opal is starting to attract the attention of two young men. One is the white boy in the family for whom they work for who is home from College during summer break. The other boy is a respectable black boy like herself. Granny has taught Opal to conduct herself like a proper young lady. The story was very well written and in Opal and Granny we find two peaceful and loving people who do everything that they can to exist in a town where race relations are tense in the background. I loved these two character's and their family. The only problem is that the KKK are itching for a reason to cause these peace loving folks harm. This story had the feeling that the setting was taking place in the here and now. I think Angela Jackson-Brown does a fantastic job in portraying her cast of character's whom seem so real that they could walk right out of the story and I would embrace them all and want them to be part of my family or the closest of friend's. They do their best to live by a code of honor and their only crime which I hate to use that word is the color of their skin. Founder's Day is the day when the whole town gathers together and celebrates. There is trouble looming on the horizon. Opal and Granny and their family just want to enjoy life and the way some of these white character's act make me ashamed to be White. This is a powerful story that needs to be told and any genre of reader needs to make this fantastic work of art a must read. The story resonates with today. Both men and women will just be so pleased that Angela Jackson-Brown has created a work of art that is masterfully told through Opal's eyes that deserves a wide audience for its authenticity. This book has made me feel deeply that we must all do all that we can to love everyone and treat them as equals. I highly recommend this masterpiece to everyone. It changed my life and it will change yours as well. This is my favorite reading experience when I read a book that opens my eyes that much wider and calls me to action to do everything I can so that I can somehow contribute to society to end the cruelties and indignities that these character's suffer. Publication Date: April 13, 2021 Thank you to Net Galley, Angela Jackson-Brown and Thomas Nelson-Fiction for providing me with my ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. #WhenStarsRainDown #AngelaJacksonBrown #ThomasNelsonFiction #NetGalley

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nora St Laurent

    This is a poignant novel told through the eyes of Opal, a young girl trying her best to navigate life in a 1930s segregated world, as the battle for freedom rings. She realizes, “You can change the law, but you can’t make people follow it.” This author does her best to help readers walk in the characters shoes, giving them a peek into Opal’s world as she works in a white person’s house with her granny. Opal is wise to the rules of society and the hatred present in certain parts of her community. This is a poignant novel told through the eyes of Opal, a young girl trying her best to navigate life in a 1930s segregated world, as the battle for freedom rings. She realizes, “You can change the law, but you can’t make people follow it.” This author does her best to help readers walk in the characters shoes, giving them a peek into Opal’s world as she works in a white person’s house with her granny. Opal is wise to the rules of society and the hatred present in certain parts of her community. Growing up was hard for Opal and others as they did their best to navigate a racist world. The characters are complex, relatable, and brave, they have a strong sense of place as they struggle to make hard choices. This riveting story has Opal and her family sitting on volatile information, realizing the truth of the matter will create an explosion no one wants, and many will hurt! There are a wide range of emotions expressed through colorful main and minor characters that moves readers to tears, a giggle or two (getting a look at family gatherings on the porch) as they seek justice. I enjoyed how Opal describes her special times with family, “Summer nights in Colored Town were always my favorite. I looked around my granny’s porch, seeing all of my aunties, uncles, and cousins, and a smattering of neighbors and friends. As always, I felt so much love for all of them that it seemed like my heart might just burst wide open.” The author pulled me in deep with her note to readers she says, “Racism in the 1930s was rampant throughout the country…Because my goal as a writer is always to strive to be historically accurate, there are occasions when characters in the book, who are members of the Ku Klux Klan, (in Parsons, GA) use the “N” word.” My intent in using this word is not to shock but to punctuate the fact that racism was brutal and still is brutal…I have been the target of the hate that word gives, and I want the readers of this book to understand the full weight of a word so powerful that it is now referred to by its first letter.” This is the first book I’ve read by this author. Her books will be a great book club pick. Disclosure of Material Connection: I have received a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher through NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising” Nora St. Laurent TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! The Book Club Network blog www.bookfun.org

  22. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    At the beginning of the story we meet Miss Opal Pruitt and her family in 1936 Georgia. Opal and her family live on a small street in an area called Colored Town on the outskirts of Parsons. Opal’s extended family are hard working and content with their lives. Some are financially better off than others, but they are all generous and truly love and care for each other. There is no jealousy or envy. Opal in particular is content as a housekeeper and works for a Caucasian woman called Miss Peggy al At the beginning of the story we meet Miss Opal Pruitt and her family in 1936 Georgia. Opal and her family live on a small street in an area called Colored Town on the outskirts of Parsons. Opal’s extended family are hard working and content with their lives. Some are financially better off than others, but they are all generous and truly love and care for each other. There is no jealousy or envy. Opal in particular is content as a housekeeper and works for a Caucasian woman called Miss Peggy along with her Granny. Miss Peggy treats them with love and respect and considers them family. Opal is proud of her domestic abilities, she has a reputation for doing her job extremely well. Her uncle would like her to continue her education in order to obtain a “career” position and not be dependent on Miss Peggy for fair wages and treatment. At a mere 17, Opal is happy and content with her life and doesn’t want for more. Then two boys begin to take an interest in her and she experiences feelings she has never felt before. She doesn’t consider herself beautiful but everyone around her does. The KKK and white supremacy are everywhere. Prejudices threatens the town folks peaceful existence as well as their livelihood. After a violent attack, the community congregates and decides to take action. They visit the sheriff and explore possibilities to stop the violence. During a KKK attack the community did as their preacher asked at their Sunday sermon and stayed in their homes as their barns and chicken coops burned. After a personal attack, the men in particular are having a difficult time with taking no action and turning the other cheek. They fiercely want to protect their women and families. The end of the story is the crescendo. It didn’t go as I’d hoped it would, but realistically it probably couldn’t have gone any other way. I loved Opal and her entire family. Miss Lovenia and Miss Peggy were the best. So many loving caring people, no family jealousy or envy over haves and have nots. Just straight up love and affection is refreshing. When prejudice shows it’s ugly head it spoils a loving situation and brings tragedy. Truly a heartfelt story. I enjoyed the timeframe, post slavery but still at a time when there were many injustices against blacks. The depiction of the time and stage was gorgeously done. I couldn’t put this book down. I wanted to follow the characters into the next chapter. I hated that it was over. Solid 5 stars

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    “When Stars Rain Down” should have been called “When Tears Rain Down.” I could not stop crying at the end. I was very moved by this book about an adolescent black girl, Opal Pruitt, who comes of age during a turbulent time in Georgia (1936). In addition to dealing with her emerging interest in two young men, she is becoming more aware of the differences in the way black people are treated compared to white folks. When she experiences an extremely traumatic incident, she must choose between prote “When Stars Rain Down” should have been called “When Tears Rain Down.” I could not stop crying at the end. I was very moved by this book about an adolescent black girl, Opal Pruitt, who comes of age during a turbulent time in Georgia (1936). In addition to dealing with her emerging interest in two young men, she is becoming more aware of the differences in the way black people are treated compared to white folks. When she experiences an extremely traumatic incident, she must choose between protecting her family from her painful memories or allowing the men in her family to stand up in her behalf. She must decide whether to allow God to take care of the situation, as her grandmother preaches, or to let others take matters into their own hands. Angela Jackson-Brown has managed to describe the small Georgia town and its people in such vivid detail that I can almost feel the heat and taste the peach juice running down my face. I fell in love with the main characters, Opal and her Grandma Birdie, but Jackson-Brown has managed to make all the characters memorable and lovable, from the alcoholic neighbor, Mr. Tote, to the son of the white woman Opal and her mother work for, Jimmy Earl. The descriptions of Opal’s awakening feelings for the opposite sex and her worries about her own attractiveness are tender and sweet. Her attempts to reconcile the “hoodoo” magic of Miss Lovenia with her belief in the Bible’s teaching present questions that are still relevant today. Jackson-Brown also deftly illustrates the importance of the fellowship in the colored church in making it possible for Opal to preserve her self-respect in the face of daily messages from white folks that she is less than them. The horror of being preyed upon simply because of the color of her skin is always in the background until it erupts in all its demonic fury. The author is not subtle in her reminder that well-meaning white folks need to respect what black folks know about their situation instead of acting on what they think is best. Although this book dealt with a terrible time in our history, the message that love and family can overcome anything is loud and clear. I have never read a book with so many hugs in it. I appreciate the chance to experience vicariously the power that the love of a whole community can provide. In case I didn’t mention it, I loved this book!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Di

    Opal Pruitt is the star of this book. The book is set in 1930s Georgia in a small town called Parsons. The town is divided into the white section and the section named Colored Town. Opal lives in Colortown along with her Granny. They both work for a white household in Parsons as cook/housekeeper(s). This is a coming of age story that also deals with racial issues. Racial relations are very strained. Definitely black and white. The KKK makes its presence known, with no compassionate thoughts towar Opal Pruitt is the star of this book. The book is set in 1930s Georgia in a small town called Parsons. The town is divided into the white section and the section named Colored Town. Opal lives in Colortown along with her Granny. They both work for a white household in Parsons as cook/housekeeper(s). This is a coming of age story that also deals with racial issues. Racial relations are very strained. Definitely black and white. The KKK makes its presence known, with no compassionate thoughts towards its targets. There is an unwritten code of conduct within Colored Town when it comes to dealing with the KKK. Opal understands her place in society but longs for a sense of betterment, she does not want to keep house for someone as a lifetime career. Because she works for a white family, she has developed a good relationship with them. Every character in this story stands out. Opal's family of Granny, uncles and cousins are fiercely loyal and protective of each other. There are good characters and bad characters. They are equally well portrayed. This book has many themes: friendship, loyalty, family, strength, hope and the power of a close community. The ending is very dramatic and emotional. Ms. Jackson- Brown's style of writing drew me right into the story. I felt as if I was living among the characters. There were some beautiful descriptive passages. This book will stay with me for a long time. While The Stars Rain Down is classified as Historical Fiction, I believe that a sub-classification could be Young Adult Fiction. There is a lot to be learned from reading this book. I want to thank my Goodreads friend, Shelley (Book Nook), for giving a compelling review for this book that led me to reading it. The quote I liked from this book: “White folks always thinking they know what’s best for Colored folks, then when they mess up, they try to act all sorry. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Austen to Zafón

    What a wonderful read this was! I loved Mildred D. Taylor's Logan family series, and Rita Williams-Garcia's Gaither sisters books, and When Stars Rain Down certainly rose to the level of those earlier, beloved books. While it is targeted to middle grade and YA readers, I found it just as satisfying, complex, smart, and engaging for an adult. Opal Pruitt is a force to be reckoned with; a young Black woman with deep wells of patience, empathy, and intelligence, and also a strong will. But it's not What a wonderful read this was! I loved Mildred D. Taylor's Logan family series, and Rita Williams-Garcia's Gaither sisters books, and When Stars Rain Down certainly rose to the level of those earlier, beloved books. While it is targeted to middle grade and YA readers, I found it just as satisfying, complex, smart, and engaging for an adult. Opal Pruitt is a force to be reckoned with; a young Black woman with deep wells of patience, empathy, and intelligence, and also a strong will. But it's not easy to be a young Black woman, just about to turn 18, living in rural Georgia in the hot summer of 1936. Racial tension is rising in her town and Opal is forced to face what that means for her, and for her relationships with the white people she works for. At the same time, she is exploring her budding interest in two different young men in her life, and thinking about what she wants for her future. All of the books I mentioned help readers understand the history of slavery and racism and the long shadows they cast into our own time, but Jackson-Brown addresses one issue that I hadn't seen come up in the other books, and it's one that has come to be front and center in the last few years: the terrible damage "nice white people" can do and how stubbornly blind we can be to that. There's one eye-opening scene that perfectly captures one well-meaning white woman's tears and how frustrating it is that she makes herself the victim when in fact it was a wrong she did to Opal's family. She's a 1936 Karen. I will be reading this with my teen son next. We've read Taylor's and Garcia-Williams' books, as well as Christopher Paul Curtis's Bud Not Buddy and The Mighty Miss Malone. I think he's really going to like this story. It's a little grittier than the Gaither sisters books, and not as funny, but it's not as graphic and relentlessly tragic as the later books in Taylor's Logan family series (like book 6, The Road to Memphis). For kids who find Taylor's books a bit too much, this book might be a good fit. Which is not to say it's not powerful, but some kids don't need as much detail to get the point. I received a ARC from Netgalley in exchange for a fair review.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Amy Green

    Opal’s narrative voice hooked me from page one, lyrical and strong. (See the end of the review for an example.) Her story of life as a young Black woman in Georgia the summer of 1936 was everything I wanted in a historical fiction novel right now. The setting was much more than the time and place—it was in the tense conflict between Granny Birdie’s vibrant churchgoing faith tradition and the spirituality of the “local hoo-doo woman” as Birdie calls her. It was in the adoration of Satchel Paige an Opal’s narrative voice hooked me from page one, lyrical and strong. (See the end of the review for an example.) Her story of life as a young Black woman in Georgia the summer of 1936 was everything I wanted in a historical fiction novel right now. The setting was much more than the time and place—it was in the tense conflict between Granny Birdie’s vibrant churchgoing faith tradition and the spirituality of the “local hoo-doo woman” as Birdie calls her. It was in the adoration of Satchel Paige and his fellow ball players. It was in the details of the hymns and biscuits and Georgian turns-of-phrase…but most of all in strong sense of family and community Angela Jackson-Brown gives the reader. This was a book with solid, well-developed secondary characters, but it was more than that. Opal’s family (multiple aunts, uncles, and cousins with small roles) all felt real and unique, but their interactions—their quirks and conflict-resolution and most of all, love for each other—made their family culture as a whole feel like an extra character. My favorite character, actually. My only complaint was that I wanted more time for certain characters’ development and interactions. This novel was full of heart and tragedy and questions to discuss. Highly recommended! “On this night, there didn’t seem to be no sound—not one night owl squalling or dog barking. This night, not even the good Lord himself made a sound. It was like something had some along and spirited all of the people and animals away. Everybody and everything was waiting—wondering when the night sky would turn bright orange from the fire sticks them Klansmen carried. Wondering whose husband, son, or nephew might be the one to get carried off and hung in some tree. Granny used to say that the trees all over Georgia had stories they could tell, and none of them was good.” (Discern: contains racist actions and language, attempted rape)

  27. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    When the Stars Rain Down swept me off my feet. Angela Jackson-Brown’s words captured my heart right away, making this book thoroughly in-put-down-able. A heart-racing plot, relatable characters, and a beautifully described setting make this novel one I won’t soon forget. The voice is engaging and pulls you in right from the start. You can hear the characters voices as they speak, feel that Georgia heat beating down on you, and smell the barbecue in the air. The setting is perfectly described, the When the Stars Rain Down swept me off my feet. Angela Jackson-Brown’s words captured my heart right away, making this book thoroughly in-put-down-able. A heart-racing plot, relatable characters, and a beautifully described setting make this novel one I won’t soon forget. The voice is engaging and pulls you in right from the start. You can hear the characters voices as they speak, feel that Georgia heat beating down on you, and smell the barbecue in the air. The setting is perfectly described, the pacing is perfect, and the characters are so well developed you’re convinced you’ll run into them on the street. Or, you know, that run in could be possible if it didn’t take place in the last century and with us currently in a global pandemic and all. The plot is, sadly, still topical despite taking place in the 1930s. It’s also expertly crafted. Opal is on the edge of adulthood, and struggling with the contrast between what she wants for herself versus what others want for her. As the heat and tension build to irreversible acts that determine for life who she’ll trust, Opal is faced with tough choices and complicated emotions. Take all of these typical coming of age moments and set it in a time and place where racial tensions run taut, and you’ll find your heart racing in fear on more than one occasion. This novel is heart tugging, relatable, and beautifully written. I laughed out loud at her gumption, cheered her on as she navigated tough situations, and cried with her when the world was hateful to her. My only complaint about this novel is that it ended too soon. I wanted to know more about what happens next. However, I often feel this way about characters I love; I just can’t get enough time with them! Thus this isn’t a critique of the book, just a note that I’d love to see more of Opal’s story. When the Stars Rain Down will be available April 13, 2021. Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson Fiction for the advanced copy, such that I could write this review. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    4.5 stars. When Stars Rain Down by Angela Jackson-Brown is a captivating historical novel that is socially relevant in today’s world. In 1936, Opal Pruitt is looking forward to her eighteenth birthday. She lives with family matriarch Bridie and they both work for Miss Peggy. Although the Pruitt family is close-knit, Birdie is very independent and knows her own mind.  The family is very protective of Opal  but they cannot shield her from volatile racial violence that is about to boil over. Opal is a 4.5 stars. When Stars Rain Down by Angela Jackson-Brown is a captivating historical novel that is socially relevant in today’s world. In 1936, Opal Pruitt is looking forward to her eighteenth birthday. She lives with family matriarch Bridie and they both work for Miss Peggy. Although the Pruitt family is close-knit, Birdie is very independent and knows her own mind.  The family is very protective of Opal  but they cannot shield her from volatile racial violence that is about to boil over. Opal is a hardworking young woman who loves her Granny dearly. She has lived a fairly sheltered life and Granny keeps a close eye on her. Opal has a soft spot for Miss Peggy’s grandson Jimmy Earl Ketchums but they can never be anything but friends. The preacher’s son Cedric Perkins makes no effort to hide his interest in her, but will Granny agree to let Opal spend time with him? The annual Parsons Founder’s Day celebration is coming up, but trouble is looming on the horizon. Word gets back to Granny that the Ku Klux Klan is planning to ride through their part of town. Outside of property damage, they emerge from the frightening ordeal unscathed. But Opal has caught the attention of someone who believes she is his for the taking, and tensions rise after she assaulted. When the situation eventually turns violent, everyone’s lives are forever changed. When Stars Rain Down is a thoroughly engrossing novel with a storyline that is timeless. The characters are extremely well-drawn with relatable strengths and weaknesses. The plot is multi-layered and could easily take place today. The setting is easy to visualize and springs vibrantly to life. Angela Jackson-Brown brings this heartfelt novel to a poignant conclusion. I absolutely loved and highly recommend this incredible novel.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lauryn

    I don’t remember what it was about the description for Angela Jackson-Brown’s upcoming When Stars Rain Down that first caught my attention but I’m always a sucker for good historical fiction and am trying not to always go for the same eras and places. There have been a few novels set in the 1930s that I’ve read and probably even one or two set in the rural south. But most of those were personal family dramas about white people coping with the aftermath of the Great Depression, hardly touching up I don’t remember what it was about the description for Angela Jackson-Brown’s upcoming When Stars Rain Down that first caught my attention but I’m always a sucker for good historical fiction and am trying not to always go for the same eras and places. There have been a few novels set in the 1930s that I’ve read and probably even one or two set in the rural south. But most of those were personal family dramas about white people coping with the aftermath of the Great Depression, hardly touching upon race relations in any way other than simply setting the scene, creating the atmosphere of the time and place. When Stars Rain Down captures the perpetual exhaustion and toll of racism on Black people – particularly on Black women – and shows that while almost a century has passed, some things still haven’t changed. Opal Pruitt is proud to help her Granny as a housemaid for a white family in Parsons, Georgia in the late 1930s. As her eighteenth birthday approaches, Opal finds herself confronted with a lot of change. First, there’s a boy, Cedric Perkins, who shows an interest in courting Opal – though her Granny and uncles don’t seem too keen on the idea. Secondly, when there’s a warning that the Klan plan to cause mischief in Colored Town, Opal isn’t sure whether she believes the best course of action is to lie low like Granny and many of the church elders suggest or if it would be better to fight back like Cedric and some of the other young men in the community want to. Opal must learn when and how to listen to her instincts as well as how and when to bear the burdens of others’ good intentions. For my complete review, please visit my blog: https://wp.me/pUEx4-13N

  30. 5 out of 5

    DJ Sakata

    Favorite Quotes: My pastor, Reverend Perkins, said just this past Sunday that if this heat was a clue of how hot hell was going to be, we should all be lining up to get rebaptized. You ain’t got the good sense God gave a billy goat. You think them Kluxers is scared of the likes of you? Get somewhere and be still. Do you know when folks say they saw stars when someone kissed them, and it always sounded silly or downright crazy? Well, I promise you, when Cedric kissed me, it was like the heavens open Favorite Quotes: My pastor, Reverend Perkins, said just this past Sunday that if this heat was a clue of how hot hell was going to be, we should all be lining up to get rebaptized. You ain’t got the good sense God gave a billy goat. You think them Kluxers is scared of the likes of you? Get somewhere and be still. Do you know when folks say they saw stars when someone kissed them, and it always sounded silly or downright crazy? Well, I promise you, when Cedric kissed me, it was like the heavens opened up and all the stars rained down to the earth. All of their faces looked like the worst kind of storm clouds. It was like what was going on outside with the rain and the wind had entered into our little house. I felt drenched with the emotions we were all feeling. My Review: I tumbled right into this book and was so deeply immersed in this clever author’s words that every time my eyes were forced from my Kindle I was momentarily stunned to realize I wasn’t in Georgia. I kid you not, my skin is so fair I am practically an albino but while reading this absorbing missive I was an exhausted seventeen-year-old black girl residing in the segregated and rural Deep South during 1936 while living in fear of the KKK. I was entranced, enthralled, and riveted to the sharply-honed and tension-filled narrative. I sobbed when Opal was devastated and felt her elation and losses as keenly as if they were my own. Angela Jackson-Brown is a masterful storyteller with serious word voodoo. Somehow, five stars just doesn’t feel like enough, ten seems far more accurate.

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