When Stars Rain Down by Angela Jackson-Brown // Review

Growing up in the small town of Parsons, Georgia, Opal Pruitt is content to work alongside her grandmother as a housekeeper. But the Ku Klux Klan's activity awakens racial tensions that force both sides to acknowledge what has been simmering under the surface in the aftermath of reconstruction. 

A coming of age read, set in the summer of 1936. This is a well written read that explores themes of religion, family, growing up and race relations in the South. Poignant and heartbreaking, this book deals with difficult things, and features strong feminine characters. Opal is a compelling character who finds her strength over the course of the book, and I loved her close knit family, and Granny, who is always looking out for her. 

But while this book does so many things right there were some details that gave me a serious pause. There is a "hoodoo" woman, Miss Lovenia, who helps with natural remedies that some people fear, she states that she is a non-practicing practicing Catholic. Granny, a devout Christian, doesn't approve of her and Lovenia sets Opal ill at ease at times. Her practices come off as New Age, and Omnist, denying of Jesus being eternal from the beginning, she states in one instance, "The Creator answers by many names. Allah, Yaweh, Elohim, El Roi....So many names...Then of course there are the other deities. Those who ruled the heavens and earth long before Jesus was a glimmer in the Creator's eye." Though Granny and Opal are both dubious of her, it is implied throughout the book that she does possess "the sight" and that she states her works are of God. She makes potions, though denying it being her power working through them. Though a little strange she is cast in a positive light overall, being only what she is nothing more. Another time she says, "I listen to the spirits and I listen to God, and, to be honest the are one and the same." Also, when Opal is recalling the teachings of Reverend Perkins, "What if, like Reverend Perkins said, God was everything and everything was God?" Which is a statement that is in line with pathesism. 

Overall, I wanted so much to highly recommend this book, but the serious erroneous teachings make it hard for me to recommend this book as it is being marketed as a Christian book, while espousing New Age, panthesistic, and Omnistic beliefs. The story is compelling as are the characters, in a turbulent time in history when many horrific crimes occurred over color and race. If you are still interested in reading this book, I would recommend it more as general market historical fiction, and say to beware of more mainstream handling of religion. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

*Note: I wrote this review the way that I did because I know that a majority of the people reading my reviews are looking for recommendations of Christian fiction. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this review, it was very helpful!


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