Lone Stars: A Novel (Hardcover)
Three generations of a Texan family, played out over the decades, will fill your heart with sadness, joy, and ultimately hope that we will all get through this one life we have to live. Lacy's parents live in South Texas during the 50's-making money off the hard work of Mexicans. The secret that Lacy doesn't know is that her mother is Mexican. Fast forward to Austin in the late 60's where Lacy is doing her graduate work and corresponding with a soldier in Vietnam. His return and their love plays out until Aaron can no longer deal with marriage. Now we have Julian, their son, who is gay in a suburb of Houston, Royalwood (thinly disguised Kingwood). Julian excels a school and escapes to the East Coast to become a lawyer and fall in love. Each generation must deal with their own trials but the underlying love is there for all.— Valerie
"Desperately affecting." —The New York Times
“Generous and epic…takes us through generations of a singular family, whose loves and losses also tell us a story about America itself." —Eliot Schrefer, National Book Award finalist, author of Endangered
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.
About the Author
Justin Deabler grew up in Houston. He dropped out of high school when he was fifteen, went to Simon's Rock College, and graduated from Harvard Law School. He is the General Counsel for the Queens Public Library. He lives in Brooklyn with his husband, son, and two cats. Lone Stars is his first novel.
"A beautiful and well-paced book worth savoring." ?Portland Book Review
"A delight, sometimes a revelation... Lone Stars tells a universal story, as all good books do." ?Lone Star Literary Life
"A welcome surprise... demonstrating that there are still important stories to be told about the experience of coming out."
?Gay & Lesbian Review/Worldwide
“At once epic and timely, Deabler's stunning multi-generational novel is... a complicated love song to Texas, and (I'll be honest) a tear-jerker. You won't be able to set this one down.”
?Diana Spechler, author of Who by Fire and Skinny
“You’ll love this uplifting novel...It’s a tale of immigration and strong women that shines with hope.” ?Good Housekeeping
"This fast-moving book fully and sympathetically illuminates the varied lives of the three Texans at the heart of the story. They go through serious ups and downs, and that’s what life?and good storytelling?is all about." ?The Vietnam Veterans of America
"At its core is about secrets, and what happens when families don't talk about the things family's 'don't talk about.'" ?The Berkshire Eagle
"Deabler’s bighearted debut...proudly and emotionally defines what it means to be from the Lone Star State." ?Publisher's Weekly
"A triumphant debut." ?Matthew Sharpe, author of The Sleeping Father
"Enormously poignant." ?Carole Maso, author of Ava
"A wonderfully humane and honest novel about a complicated modern American family. This perfectly paced story builds on secrets, betrayals and unconditional love toward a big-hearted ending that may leave you in tears." ?Jim Lynch, author of Before the Wind