Author: Justin Daebler
Genre: Literary Fictions
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: February 2, 2021
Book Description: Justin Deabler’s Lone Stars follows the arc of four generations of a Texan family in a changing America. Julian Warner, a father at last, wrestles with a question his husband posed: what will you tell our son about the people you came from, now that they’re gone? Finding the answers takes Julian back in time to Eisenhower’s immigration border raids, an epistolary love affair during the Vietnam War, crumbling marriages, queer migrations to Cambridge and New York, up to the disorienting polarization of Obama’s second term. And in these answers lies a hope: that by uncloseting ourselves—as immigrants, smart women, gay people—we find power in empathy.
Rating: 5 Stars
Review: This debut novel, tells the multi-generational story of a family living in the outskirts of Houston, TX. Starting prior to the Vietnam war you meet Aaron, who is a star football player at University of Texas. He winds up fighting in the Vietnam war, where he becomes pen-pals with Lacey, and they eventually marry and have their son Julian.
Lacey is a doting mother to her son, who is super bright, and she realizes early on, that Julian is gay, and she never strays from his side. Aaron, less than enthused by this notion, has a very hard time accepting this. Aaron, while he loves his family, turns to other woman, for connections he cannot get at home. This culminates to a forever changing moment in all of their lives.
This is a very complicated, intense story, which covers many themes, such as immigration, homophobia, drug use just to to skim the surface. Daebler writes a depiction of a struggling family, and all that comes with it.
The writing is simple and beautiful, and will leave you in tears at times. I simply loved this book, and it should be getting all the praise in the world. This is a debut novel from this author, and you can put me down for a pre-order for his next book.
Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.