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The Sleeping Night by Barbara Samuel
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The Sleeping Night (edition 2012)

by Barbara Samuel

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5724207,436 (4.23)7
Member:rainpebble
Title:The Sleeping Night
Authors:Barbara Samuel
Info:Bell Bridge Books (2012), Paperback, 268 pages
Collections:Your library (inactive)
Rating:****1/2
Tags:ARC/ER; Racism; 1946, after the war in Gideon, Texas

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The Sleeping Night by Barbara Samuel

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Yesterday, I finished The Sleeping Night by Barbara Samuel (aka Ruth Wind). Ms. Samuel does a tremendous job of writing about interracial or cross-cultural romances, and I found this romance between a white woman and black man in Texas right after WW2 did not disappoint. In part, this was timing, as I had just been reading about this time period in the South, but based on some of her other romances, I think the author is at her best when depicting the emotional pain of a couple trying to navigate a "forbidden romance." You know at the beginning some of the outcome, but I was still on the edge of my seat at one point. I really enjoyed it. ( )
  Booklover889 | Mar 17, 2016 |
Stunning writing, compelling plot that made me think (and laugh, and cry). I'm in awe of Barbara Samuel's skills as a story-teller. ( )
  LeahDee | Jan 24, 2016 |
Another powerful work by Barbara Samuel. The backdrop for her romantic story is jaw-dropping to say the least. I’m not sure that most romance novelists would feel comfortable setting such a tale in Jim Crow Deep South America right after WWII and make that romance interracial. It raises a lot of issues and emotions that may not be exactly conducive to a romance; yet, I’ve learned that this author isn’t afraid to explore some dark with her romantic light.

She explores all the horror that such a setting entails: lynchings, belittlement of the African-American population as well as single independent women, and an environment in which simply glancing in the wrong direction can cause death. The author isn’t afraid to show the starkness of such a situation and put her characters smack dab into it.

Yet, I think all that bleakness stands as a sharp contrast to how beautiful love can be in such circumstances. Angel’s and Isaiah’s love for each other starts in childhood and grows into a potent power for good in their lives. There’s a ton of obstacles to overcome to get to the good, no less that attempted rape, murder, and harassment in broad daylight on the town’s main road in public. But the journey there is powerful in all that adversity and the author really knows how to draw her readers into that same journey. Her romance is beautiful and top notch.

I also enjoyed the historical tidbits the author includes with her powerful story. The plight of WWII-ravaged Europe and the Holocaust are explored in the letters exchanged between Angel and Isaiah. The American WWII home front also finds some page time in widowhood and the ever-heartbreaking telegraphs telling a family of a loss.

I liked the look at post-WWII rural Texas, too. The author shows us how even though they sacrificed for our country, the returning African American soldiers were not respected or treated differently at all. Everything was ho-hum regularity back home, and I liked how the author showed that was so jarring for the returning soldiers. Going from respect to condescending attitudes must have been a real eye-opener. There are some powerful lessons in this novel along with the romantic beauty of it.

A powerful love story in such a bleak setting makes this a historical romance to treasure. It moves the emotions strongly and gives the reader a glimpse into a dark part of American history. It’s a historical romance that teaches as well as transports emotions away. This is another homerun from this author for me. I’ve definitely got to look into more of her works. Highly recommended for any historical romance reader who doesn’t mind some dark with their light. ( )
  Sarah_Gruwell | Jan 13, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Barbara Samuel is a talented writer and this story of an interracial couple in post-war Texas is griping, emotional and wonderfully done. Angel Corey grows up in her father's general store just beyond the edge of the white population of Gideon, Texas. Mr. Corey is an unusual man. This is the Jim Crow south, but he caters to the black population. He treats his black customers with respect even befriending one man who brings his son Isaiah with him. Isaiah and Angel become best friends as children. But as they grow older the deep prejudices of the south keep them apart. When WWII comes along Isaiah enlists in the army and ships out to Europe. He and Angel begin to write to each other and their relationship develops. After the war he returns to Gideon and learns that Angel's father died recently and she now runs the store.

Samuel does an amazing job of describing the conditions of the horrible racial problems of the time and it seems these star-crossed lovers cannot possible achieve their HEA but she pulls it off beautifully. It's a very romantic love story that develops slowly over the years. This is an amazingly emotional book and one I'll never forget. I loaned the book to a friend but I can hardly wait to get it back for a re-read. ( )
  reneebooks | Mar 4, 2015 |
A very engrossing story set in 1945 Texas. It was light on romance and heavy on racism and atrocities of WWII. I liked the letters starting chapters format which were oftentimes more interesting then the many details of daily living. An interracial couple struggles to suppress their love during a time when it was forbidden. ( )
  Dawn772 | Jan 29, 2015 |
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There is only one person this book could possily be dedicated to, and that is Christopher Robin, aka Neal Barlow, who heard the story of a book I had stashed away, made me dig out the manuscript, paid to have it scanned (when such things were quite difficult), visited the British Imperial War museum and the beaches of Normandy with me, listened to a thousand conversations about al of it. Mainly, it is because he believed and wouldn't let me give up that this book is making its way out into the world. Thank you!
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On the morning that Angel Corey was arriving back in her home town of Gideon, Kim MCCoy buzzed around her bookstore like a mad woman.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 161194127X, Paperback)

An unforgettable romance in an unforgiving time.

They'll need love and courage to see the dawn.

He's a hometown native, returning from the war, determined to change the world he'd fought to protect. She's the girl who's been his secret friend since childhood, now a beautiful woman. Her war-time letters kept him alive. But he's black, and she's white.

In 1946 in Gideon, Texas, their undeniable love might get them both killed.

Barbara Samuel is a multiple award-winning author with more than 38 books to her credit in a variety of genres. Her work has captured a plethora of awards, including six RITAs; the Colorado Center for the Book Award (twice); Favorite Book of the Year from Romance Writers of America, and the Library Journal's list of Best Genre Fiction of the year, among many others.

Visit her at www.barbarasamuel.com.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:00 -0400)

"He's a hometown native, returning from the war, determined to change the world he'd fought to protect. She's the girl who's been his secret friend since childhood, now a beautiful woman. Her war-time letters kept him alive. But he's black, and she's white. In 1946 in Gideon, Texas, their undeniable love might get them both killed" --P. [4] of cover.… (more)

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