27 January 2017

Heartbreaking Yet Hopeful | Stars in the Grass by Ann Marie Stewart


"The summer before I turned ten was idyllic—until August 3, 1970. It perfectly describes a time when I thought the world was safe and good things lasted forever..."

Nine-year-old Abby McAndrews has just experienced her greatest loss, and in its wake, her family is unraveling with guilt, grief, and anger. Her father, Reverend McAndrews, cannot return to the pulpit because he has more questions than answers. Her older brother Matt’s actions speak louder than the words he needs to confess, as he acts out in dangerous ways. Her mother tries to hold her grieving family together, but when Abby’s dad refuses to move on, the family is at a crossroads.

Stars in the Grass, set in a small Midwestern town in 1970, is an uplifting novel that explores a family’s relationships and resiliency. Abby’s heartbreaking remembrances are balanced by humor and nostalgia as her family struggles with—and ultimately celebrates—life after loss.


While the premise of Ann Marie Stewart’s Stars in the Grass seems largely depressing and heartbreaking, this story about a nine-year-old girl and her family doesn’t neglect necessary hope in the aftermath of tragedy. Well-written and realistic, with Abby McAndrews acting as the narrator, it draws its readers into the feeling—the grief, the loss—of the characters’ experience, while exploring familial relationships, the grieving process, and faith. Stewart offers a lot to love in her novel—her storytelling, her characters, her setting, her emotion—and I liked it all. Stars in the Grass is an excellent read, and I recommend it for fans of realistic yet uplifting fiction.


I received a complimentary copy of Stars in the Grass from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review. All the opinions I have expressed are my own.

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