The love that Thaddeus and Amy feel for one another can get them both killed. He is colored, an ex-slave, and she is white. In 19th century Louisiana mixed race relationships are both illegal and unacceptable.

Moss Grove, a large Mississippi River cotton plantation has thrived from the use of slave labor while its owners lived lives of comfort and privilege. Thaddeus, born more than a decade earlier from the rape of a young field slave by the heir to the plantation, is raised as a Moss Grove house servant. His presence remains a thorn in the side of the man who sired him.

Deepening divisiveness between North and South launches the Civil War and changes Moss Grove in ways no one could have anticipated. With the war swirling we see the battles and carnage through Thaddeus' eyes. The war ends and he returns to Moss Grove and to Amy, hoping to enjoy their newly won freedoms. With the help of Union soldiers, schools are established to educate those who were formerly prohibited from learning to read. Medical clinics are opened and businesses begun. Black legislators are elected and help to pass new laws. Hope flourishes. Perhaps the stars will now finally align for the young lovers.

In 1876, however, the ex-Confederate states barter the selection of President Rutherford B. Hayes for removal of all Union troops from their soil in the most contested election in American history. Within a decade hopes are dashed as Jim Crow laws are passed, the Ku Klux Klan launches new violence, and black progress is crushed.

'When Stars Align' is a soaring novel of memorable white, Negro, and colored men and women set against actual historic events.