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When Stars Rain Down  By  cover art

When Stars Rain Down

By: Angela Jackson-Brown
Narrated by: Joniece Abbott-Pratt
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Publisher's Summary

Eighteen-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

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)

©2021 Angela Jackson-Brown (P)2021 Thomas Nelson

What listeners say about When Stars Rain Down

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  • Overall
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had the bones, but disappointed

typically if I write a review, it’s because it’s really good, and I want everyone to read it! Occasionally all right review if it’s so terrible. This one was just OK. Not something I would recommend. as usual, thank you so much to the author for her hard work. The story started off good and have so many planes and characters that could’ve been explored to make it a really great story and I bet that just didn’t happen and whole thing fell quite flat.

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Wonderful story

Great story loved it , It made me shed a tear or two Love the girl Oppel

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Beautiful and moving

Such a beautiful and well written story, the narrator did a great job depicting all the characters.

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A must listen

I have never cried so much to a book in my life. I felt myself there in every moment.

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Heart warming and heart tugging

The bond between a grandmother and her grandchildren is rare and a blessing. Especially when the parents aren't in the picture. "Birdy", grandma did everything you would think a grandmother did for Opal Pruitt even during the racial times. She showed her the ways of the world, covered her as much as she could, that's until...... Found raped and beaten in the bushes on the side of the road. The town went into a frenzy, in the midst of the chaos the KKK burnt down their chickens, coop, and harassed Opal to stay quiet. But when Opals memory came back, revenge was on the menu. During freedom day, Grandma was shot and killed and Opals boyfriend injured his throwing arm. While the story had some ugly parts it highlighted the beauty of family, the village and love! #Book35of2021 #bookworm #whatsnext

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  • 08-18-21

BEAUTIFUL

The story is beautifully written with strong characters and the narration was stunning. Could not recommend more.

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Pleasant Surprise!

This is my first book by Ms. Jackson-Brown. Loved her writing and how she drew me into each character and their story. Even though the ugliest of the KKK and racism existed, the faith, love and strength of Ms. Birdee’s family prevailed. Love, love Opal and Cedric’s fresh love!

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Great Book!

This is a great book and would make a powerful movie! I highly recommend this book.

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Story was good but

I cringed as the narration to me was so bad. Opal is a few days away from 18 yet the narrator made her sound like a 10 year old. She sounded so very young and her actions and responses were so immature. I could not wait for the book to be over. Even the last few chapters, I could not wait for Opal to either grow up or the story to just be over. It needed a more mature sounding narrator as the subject matter is mature.

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Such a Good Read!

This was such a good book! It brought out so many emotions! I was mad, angry, sad, disappointed. I cried all of the last two chapters. This was wonderfully written!