Monday, August 19, 2019

Review: "Stars of Alabama" by Sean Dietrich

Do you ever pick up a book by an author you've never read before and wonder how on earth you'd missed the author up to that point? Yeah, that's me right now. I had never even heard of Sean Dietrich, a.k.a. Sean of the South, before I picked up Stars of Alabama. And now I want to go back and read everything he's ever written!

From Sean Dietrich—also known as Sean of the South—comes a poignant tale of the stars that shine all around us . . . if only we’re willing to look.

When she becomes pregnant at fifteen, Marigold is rejected by her family and forced to fend for herself. And when she loses her baby in the forest, her whole world turns upside down. She’s even more distraught upon discovering she has an inexplicable power that makes her both beautiful and terrifying—and something of a local legend.

Meanwhile, migrant workers Vern and Paul discover a violet-eyed baby and take it upon themselves to care for her. The men soon pair up with a widow and her two children, and the untraditional family finds their way in fits and starts toward taking care of each other.

As survival brings one family together, a young boy finds himself with nary a friend to his name amid the dust storms still raging across Kansas. Fourteen-year-old Coot, a child preacher with a prodigy’s memory, is on the run with thousands of stolen dollars—and the only thing he’s sure of is that Mobile, Alabama, is his destination.

As the years pass and a world war looms, their stories intertwine in surprising ways. With a voice both humorous and heartfelt, Sean Dietrich weaves together a tale about the dignity of humanity and the value of enduring hope—reminding us that when the dust clears, we can still see the stars.

Stars of Alabama is a beautifully-written novel that begins during the Great Depression and spans roughly 20 years. It's told in short chapters, most no more than three pages long, each focusing on one of the novel's many main characters. For a while, it seems as though the stories will never overlap, but when they finally do, the results are incredibly satisfying.

Everyone wants to belong, to be part of a family. The families that spring up in this novel are not the traditional kind (and sometimes those who are related by blood are nothing remotely resembling family)—they are people who choose each other, who commit to caring for one another. And it's a beautiful picture of what humanity can be.

Stars of Alabama is one of those books that grabs you and won't let go until you've turned the final page, and I'm so glad I got to live in its world for a short time. 5 stars.

Buy the book: Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble
Follow the tour.

Sean Dietrich is a columnist, podcaster, speaker, and novelist, known for his commentary on life in the American South. His work has appeared in Southern Living, The Tallahassee Democrat, Good Grit, South Magazine, Yellowhammer News, The Bitter Southerner, Thom Magazine, and The Mobile Press Register, and he has authored ten books.
Connect with Sean: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through TLC Book Tours. 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."


  1. All of these reviews make me want to jump this one to the top of my TBR pile! Thank you so much for being on this tour, I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Sara @ TLC Book Tours

    1. It was sooooo good! When I picked up the book, I was a little hesitant, but I so quickly fell in love :-)


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