It was just a reflection of moonlight, a flickering of the neon sign that beckoned travelers to the Stardust Tourist Cottages, but Georgia O’Dell was sure the sign had winked at her. Her connection to the hotel at the edge of the bayou was emotional but also relational. She was distantly related to the couple who owned and ran the hotel, and one morning when she was only five, while in town for a family funeral, she watched her momma and daddy drive away, leaving her behind.
As a child, she spent many days waiting for her parents to drive back into the hotel parking lot before she was finally taken to Aunt Cora’s house to live. Now, as an adult and mother of two young girls, she has been abandoned again by an unfaithful husband, the devoted father of her two young girls, and justice has been served when his bloated body washes up on the shoreline behind the Stardust.
Struggling to survive in a small town where one’s personal business is fodder for gossips, Georgia accepts the turn of events that deeds the Stardust to her and begins to build a new life for herself and her children. In the process, readers will learn about the polio epidemic of the early 1950s, the iron lung machines that were used to treat the disease, the separation between black citizens and white citizens, and a little about the gift of hospitality and managing a hotel.
Award-winning author Stewart does a phenomenal job in crafting this story with historical accuracy, with a tip of the hat to family and friend relationships, forgiveness, stereotypes, folk art and music of the early fifties, and the presence of a watchful Heavenly Father in our daily lives.