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Stars of Alabama

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  185 ratings  ·  70 reviews
With a voice both humorous and heartfelt, Sean Dietrich—also known as Sean of the South—weaves together a tale about the dignity of humanity and the value of enduring hope.

One child preacher traveling across the plains.

One young woman with a mysterious touch.

Two old friends, their baby, and their bloodhound.

And all the stars that shine above them.

When fifteen-year-old Mari
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published July 9th 2019 by Thomas Nelson
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4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  185 ratings  ·  70 reviews

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Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sean Dietrich masterfully wove together this brilliant story. This was a good old-fashioned feel good story sprinkled with heart and hope. Short chapters, three separate storylines, all with a common thread of family. Not the family you were born to, but the family that you choose. This is a definite character driven story without a lot of bells and whistle‘s. There was just something so refreshing about this book for me, so much charm so much goodness. I listened to the audiobook that was narr ...more
Jul 01, 2019 rated it liked it
During the Great Depression a fifteen year old girl becomes pregnant, has her baby and leaves her in the forest to go look for food, when she returns her baby is gone.
This novel brings together a cast of characters that I really liked, Vern and Paul who find the baby and care for her, a young mother and her children who are left desolate that also end up traveling with Vern and Paul... they all become a family, and it’s a struggle, but there’s lots of love.
There is also another story line invol
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebooks, arc-s

Every once in awhile a book comes along that moves you down to your soul. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does you know that story will stay with you for a lifetime. Covering the trials of living in the rural South during the early 20th century, Sean Dietrich has written a mesmerizing and lyrical tale about the lives of several seemingly unconnected people. Each chapter bounces between the varying storylines before coming to its beautiful and dramatic conclusion.

Whilst everyone in t
Beth Ann
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sean Dietrich is well known in the South as a gifted writer and story teller. Many folks follow his podcast, Sean of the South, read his daily blog online and snatch up one of his many books that share short pieces that touch the heart. I am one of those folks and like to think I am his biggest fan. when I found out he had a new novel hitting the shelves I pre-ordered and found a way to get an advanced reader copy so I could have a head start.

I was not disappointed one bit. Not one tiny bit. Mr.
Nan Williams
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!
What a lovely, lovely read! How refreshing to read about people who, in the midst of struggling to overcome their own problems, are ever mindful of the needs of others. In spite of the setting in the dismal years of the Great Depression and the struggling economy in the following decade, this was a very uplifting and encouraging tale.

The story opens in about 1932 and focuses on 4 different groups of people in 4 different geographic areas of America. The author gives us an excellent bird’s eye vi
I really wanted to like this book, but the page and a half chapters that broke with each character perspective ultimately made this way too choppy and hard to connect with the characters. This will be a DNF for me.

This book takes place in Alabama during the Great Depression. I find this time period very interesting and jumped at the chance to read it based on the description. I think the writing is good and I might have had an easier time connecting if it wasn't for the above, but it also dragge
Rachel McMillan
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
With the intimate voice of Harper Lee and the deep easy humour of Mark Twain, the thematic resonance of William Faulkner and the grace of Flannery O'Connor, Stars of Alabama reads like a warm hug.
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent Read! At fifteen and pregnant Marigold is forced out on her own. She leaves her baby in the forest to go find food, when she returns the baby is gone. The two men who found the baby along with a woman give the baby a home. There are several parts in this story that weave together in the end. I'm an avid fan of southern fiction and this left cracks in my heart. The magic of the south bleeds on every page.
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
We can begin with... I’m biased. I am huge fan before I even came to this book. But I also came at it wit h the fear that it wouldn’t be as good as his other writings and live events.
It exceed them. This may be the best fiction book I’ve read so far this year. It’s beautiful and it takes it time but it’s never ever boring
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This beautiful, well written book is about hope during the darkest times. Even though the main characters face what seem like insurmountable problems, they are always working and hoping for a better life. They could face their problems because of the families they created out of the people they loved and who loved them -- not families by blood but families out of love.

This Depression era book has three main characters and the story is told by each character. There seems to be no connection betwe
Jena Henry
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sean Dietrich is a columnist, podcaster, speaker, and novelist, known for his commentary on life in the American South. He has also written several volumes of short stories and several novels. All of them are “finger-lickin’ good.”

If you are in the mood for solid, compelling characters, which includes both people and dogs, mixed with positive values, then you will want to visit the Mobile, Alabama area with Sean Dietrich as your guide in this feel-good southern-living story.

You will never forget
Karen • The Book Return
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Read this review and more on my blog.The Book Return Blog
*I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. 'The Stars of Alabama' tells the story of multiple characters struggling to survive in the south amid the Great Depression. The stories of various unrelated characters come together to form a beautiful tale of survival and love.    


I really love Southern Fiction. It, along with histo
Randi Sampson
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
**I received a complimentary copy for consideration. All thoughts are 100% my own.

To be entirely honest, I'm not quite sure that Stars of Alabama was quite what I expected before I started reading... but what I got was so much better. It was truly one of the best novels I've read lately....and believe me, I've read a lot of them!

From the very start, I was transported through time and place to Alabama in the time of the Great Depression. Clearly, this is neither a time nor a place that I know o
Carla Suto
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
STARS OF ALABAMA by Sean Dietrich is a beautifully-written and moving story of unlikely friendships and unusual “families” beginning during the Depression era. Alternating between the points of view of the wonderfully-portrayed characters, their difficult lives and significant challenges are revealed with honesty, empathy and compassion. When they all eventually make their way to Alabama, we finally see how their lives are interwoven. The writing is vivid and evocative. I felt like I was right t ...more
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sean Dietrich should be declared a National or, at the very least, a Southern treasure. He captures a time and place with such detail I felt like I had been transported back in time to a simpler but certainly not gentler world. For those of you who think the worries of our world are too much to handle, imagine the Great Depression with no safety net. Think of a time when life was so insular that tent revivals provided one of the few hopes you had for a better life. Then consider the men and wome ...more
Bonnye Reed
Stars of Alabama is an extraordinary visit back to the Alabama of the 1920s, 1930s after their world was changed by the cotton-destroying boll weevil and the stock market crash on Wall Street when parents helplessly watched their hungry children die and adults were held hostage by the few paying jobs that were available. But southerners are very strong people. And Sean Dietrich tells this wonderful story with heart and hope and laughter to counter the tears.

We have a full arsenal of people to t
Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Stars of Alabama - I was drawn to this book by the title (I am from Alabama) and the author (Sean Dietrich) I have read much of Mr. Dietrich’s work. As always, the descriptive writing draws you in and then you become so attached to the characters - I can’t choose a favorite. I wondered how on earth we would get all these people together. I finished the book in front of a campfire while tent camping in Greer’s Ferry, AR. It was the perfect setting. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Op ...more
Lynn Cornell
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Quirky, exciting, heartwarming, memorable—-what more do you want in a book?

Here are three different families that eventually intertwine, but not before you lose a couple of dearly-loved people.
There’s a lost baby, a young woman with healing powers, two migrant workers struggling to survive, a child preacher, and raging dust storms.
And “when the dust clears, we can still see the stars.” 📚😢⭐
Jul 28, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the characters and the setting of this immensely. 1930s and 40s in the Deep South set during the Depression, in a world of fist-pounding, fire and brimstone preaching evangelists and tent revivals... this book had a strong sense of place, which I loved. Where this book personally fell flat for me is within the plot. I kept reading expecting more tying together and then when it was, it fell a little flat and felt a bit rushed at the end. Lot of build up for an okay pay-off.
Angela McVay
Jun 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This story was full of colorful characters, but I particularly enjoyed Marigold’s and Ruth’s story the most. This was a different read for me and on the whole it was average. The healings and revivals definitely kept my interest throughout. Thank you Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great book, my first by Sean Dietrich. Stories intertwine in a greatly descriptive southern area from the Depression up to the era of the Korean War. Wonderfully written, rich characters and at times heartfelt, amusing and entertaining.
Diane C. Campbell
Loved it

This book was heartbreaking and at the same time filled with love. They lived through hard times but survived by working hard and caring for and about each other. I'm very glad I read this book.
Kim Williamson
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sean Dietrich has hit a home run with Stars of Alabama. With characters as rich as warm pound cake and a storyline that grips the reader by the heartstrings, Stars of Alabama is Southern Gothic at its finest.
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I found myself fully engaged with each of this story's three story lines and the unique, memorable characters whose stories were unfolding. I could feel the stories converging, but it was never obvious as to how they would finally intersect. As the characters traveled from the dust bowl of Kansas to the Gulf shores of Alabama, through the depression, a war, and peacetime, their stories drew ever closer. Stories of hard times, people who matter, putting aside the past, and creating a future; stor ...more
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book I've read by Sean Dietrich, but it won't be the last! I loved Mr. Dietrich’s writing style and the characters in this book. Told from the point of view of several different characters, you get to know each of them and their personal struggles. There’s Marigold, a young teen mom raising her baby in the forest because her family has rejected her. Coot, a child preacher, tired of living life on the road doing tent revivals and being physically and verbally abused by his fathe ...more
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great book! Great characters...could not put it down. One of the best books I have read in a long time!
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was full of history of a time when there was so much hunger and yet the friendship and love came through! Very interesting book!
Cristie Underwood
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
Great read. The author wrote a story that was interesting and moved at a pace that kept me engaged. The characters were easy to invest in.
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love Sean Dietrich's blog posts. They are insightful, touching, and well worth reading, so I was excited to be able to preview this upcoming release. It's typical for his style of writing. While it is a full book, it reads a lot like his blog posts. It's written from the omniscient point of view, which works for this type of book. It holds with the realism one expects from Mr. Dietrich. Not everything wraps up into a happy ending. Not everyone gets a trophy. It's a little gritty in some areas, ...more
Susan Obryan
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sean Dietrich, sporting a rich beard and a southern drawl, is a storyteller. He spins his narratives, filled with humor and compassion, of the world, and especially the South, as he sees it through columns, podcasts, speeches and novels. His latest novel, “Stars of Alabama,” has the same feel of authenticity that Dietrich fans so enjoy.

This time, Dietrich takes us back in time to the Depression years to show the struggles, and especially the strengths, which helped strangers come together and su
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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, The Bitter Southerner, Thom Magazine, and The Mobile Press Register, and he has authored ten books.