Mentoring Moments columnist Ann Marie Stewart’s newly released novel, Stars in the Grass, debuted on February 1.
The idyllic world of nine-year-old Abby McAndrews is transformed when a tragedy tears her family apart. Before the accident, her dad, Reverend John McAndrews, had all the answers, but now his questions and guilt threaten to destroy his family. Abby’s fifteen-year-old brother, Matt, begins an angry descent 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. Set in a small Midwestern town in 1970, Abby’s heartbreaking remembrances are balanced by humor and nostalgia as her family struggles with—and ultimately celebrates—an authentic story of faith and life after loss.
Ann Marie Stewart tells the story from Abby’s point of view. This first-person narrative is simply elegant as she looks back in childlike remembrance on her family’s life.
“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. What I couldn’t know then, but try to remember now, is how fragile and delicate are the moments we most treasure, and if they break into pieces, repairing means seeing anew.”
Readers who enjoyed The Deep End of the Ocean, A Girl Named Zippy, or To Kill a Mockingbird will also enjoy Stars in the Grass. This debut novel is a wonderful book club selection because it will spark great discussion with questions included. The author welcomes phone interviews or will visit your book club if you live close enough to her Virginia farm where she and her husband Will raise two daughters and a whole flock of woolly sheep.
Stewart is also the originator and author of three books in the Preparing My Heart series. Ann’s love of teaching, musical theater, and film and television production adds depth to her storytelling. That’s why this story of love, loss, and healing is the perfect Valentine gift for yourself or a fellow reader.
Enjoy the beautiful book trailer: http://www.annmariestewart.com/book-stars-in-the-grass Facebook: AnnMarieStewart@StarsintheGrass Website: AnnMarieStewart.com
Other Author Review“Ann Marie Stewart’s beautifully crafted prose depicts a family in deep turmoil as they walk through a dark valley….Told in first person narrative by nine-year-old Abby, Stewart gets her voice just right as a precocious child thrust into the world of grief. A thought-provoking and sensitive look into the different paths each family member travels in the aftermath of tragedy, the role of God and faith along the path, and the way time wraps its way around this family until they each can embrace the truth and move forward.”
- Elizabeth Musser, bestselling author of The Long Highway Home and The Swan House
“In this remarkable novel, Ann Marie Stewart explores the aftermath of tragedy with intelligence, grace, and subtle humor. Stars in the Grass is a story of great loss, but also of great hope. A beautiful, haunting tale, it is one I won’t soon forget.”
- Ann Tatlock, award-winning author of Once Beyond a Time
“Stars in the Grass reminds us that even when we think God has forgotten us, we’re forever on His mind. Ann Marie Stewart’s writing is outstanding and her voice captivating. I fell in love with this intriguing novel from the first page.”
- Bestselling novelist Kate Lloyd, author of Leaving Lancaster, Pennsylvania Patchwork, and Forever Amish
“Ann Marie Stewart writes with immeasurable spirit as she probes the deep currents of faith and love. Abby McAndrews tells her compelling tale of family grief with truth and admirable humor. Stars in the Grass is a powerful novel that will light your way.”
- Alyson Hagy, author of Boleto and Ghosts of Wyoming