Stars in the Grass, a debut novel written by Ann Marie Stewart, is a very powerful, emotional story. The story is told by a nine year old girl who’s little brother died after being hit by a car while the family was on vacation. It is very sad to follow Abby through the first year after Joel’s death. It was sad that the adults in her life were so wrapped up in their grief that they were not able to help their children with theirs.
But there are also some funny parts to the story. I thought is was funny how Abby reacted to being taken along when Matt was practicing driving in the corn field. And when Matt wanted her to go with him as he followed their father on a run, to see where he went.
One of the parts in the book that stands out the most to me is that Pastors are people that we look to when we are in need of help dealing with personal struggles. We often don’t see them having to deal with their own struggles. The author does an awesome job bringing that point across in this story.
Abby is struggling with having to sleep in the room she shared with Joel. She is afraid of what people at school are going to say. Her fifteen old brother Matt is acting out and hanging with a bad group of friends who get into trouble. Matt has started smoking and drinking and is even questioned for the burning of a church members building. Her father, who was the pastor at Bethel Springs First Presbyterian Church is not able to move on. He goes for a run everyday and does not tell his family where he goes. He is no longer able to fulfill his duties as pastor and the church gives him times to work through the grief. But he only has interest in working in the basement on clocks. Abby’s mother, Renee is struggling with her loss as well as John and Matt’s problems. Several months after Joel’s death, Renee starts working for her neighbor who does tax returns. Not being able to deal with the break down of her and John’s relationship, she and Abby move in with the neighbor.
I received a copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and I have chosen to write this honest review.
Publisher: Shiloh Run Press
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