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The Sleeping Night [Kindle Edition]

Barbara Samuel
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A triumphant tale of forbidden love that will delight Barbara Samuel’s many romance fans while tackling the serious issue of racism in our not-so-distant past.

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.B

arbara 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.

Product Details

  • File Size: 523 KB
  • Print Length: 270 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 161194127X
  • Publisher: Bell Bridge Books (June 21, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00887Q196
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #305,262 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
55 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Telling of Forbidden Romance June 23, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
How are the sex scenes?
Meaningful. A few leading up to scenes and some implied,
but nothing that would embarrass you at the next book club meeting.

How are the story lines?
Romantic and beautiful with heart wrenching realism about southern life during the 1940s.

This story is a beautiful telling of forbidden romance.

Angel is a stubborn, resilient character, quickly gaining the reader's respect (and in my case, awe) with her strong will and work ethic. This woman is not your damsel in distress and only relies on herself and God to change her circumstance.

Isiah is a courageous and intelligent man, accepting the things he cannot win and finding ways to help Angel despite the limitations put to him by the color of his skin. Well read, world traveled and utterly devoted, he is a practical hero, one every girl might be lucky enough to bring home to momma. Even with Angel's superwoman toughness, Isiah's bravery refuses to be overshadowed. He uses it, proving his love to Angel over and over again.

The supporting characters have great personalities and back stories of their own. When their names are mentioned, you immediately recall their life, purpose and relevance to the story.

This novel is further enhanced by Angel and Isiah's letters exchanged during the war and its accurate 1940s setting, giving a realistic view of what life was like for African Americans and people who befriended them.

"The Sleeping Night" is a refined, romantic tale. I imagine if Jane Austen wrote novels today, her stories would read a lot like Barbara Samuel's.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant story of forbidden love June 16, 2012
Barbara Samuel's latest, The Sleeping Night, is a lovely sideline project, complementing her more recent foodie-themed novels written as Barbara O'Neal. It contains the right measure of Samuel's trademark references to baking, sensual detail, and bittersweet romance.

The Sleeping Night explores the story of a young white woman who sees beyond skin color to fall for her childhood playmate, and a young African-American man who returns from the battlefields of World War II, where decreased racism and letters from his childhood friend sustained him, to the unchanged battlefield of his hometown. You will laugh and cry and root for Angel and Isaiah as they face prejudice and violence in post World War II Texas. I love anything by Samuel (whether written as Samuel or O'Neal), and this was no exception.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Barbara Samuel at her best June 17, 2012
The splendor of Barbara Samuel's writing--her lush, sensuous prose, her attention to the earthy details of life, her strong-willed, complex characters and their struggles to connect with one another--are all on radiant display in The Sleeping Night. This book adds another element to the mix: the overt racism of small-town Texas in the years before, during and after World War II. Despite that racism, Angel and Isaiah form a childhood friendship that ripens into love as Isaiah joins the allied forces in England and Angel tries, with less than stellar success, to become a proper white lady who fits into the stultifying and bigoted society in which she finds herself. Can Angel and Isaiah overcome the limitations of that society? More important, can they overcome their own deeply embedded fears? Can they allow their love to blossom, knowing that in that place, in that era, their love could cost them their property, their safety, even their lives? This book will make you weep, and it will make you cheer. It will make you believe in the fierce power of love.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moving and heartfelt July 12, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Set in the racially charged and deeply segregated South in the mid 1940s, Barbara Samuel's The Sleeping Night is a beautifully written story of forbidden love. Close childhood friends, Angel Corey and Isaiah High feelings for one another turn to love as they enter their teen years. In an attempt to protect the children he so dearly loves, Angel's father Parker convinces Isaiah to enlist in the army as America enters World War II. With Isaiah's return to Texas following the end of the war, he and Angel cannot escape the powerful emotions or the strong desire that draws them together.

Angel Corey is a strong and courageous young woman who has a stubborn streak a mile wide. She is independent and fights for what she believes in despite the overwhelming odds against her. She has a deep and abiding faith in God that is unshakeable. Angel is incredibly wise and despite the troubles facing her, she is unfailingly hopeful that one person can make a difference.

Having seen the possibilities that exist for a black man outside of the South, Isaiah High never intended to return to Texas. But being the kind-hearted and compassionate man he is, he cannot resist helping a friend in need. With his faith tested by the things he saw during the war, Isaiah is struggling not only with his feelings for Angel, but his very belief in God's existence.

Although beginning and ending in 2005, the majority of The Sleeping Night is set in the 1940s. Current events are interspersed with the letters exchanged during the war between Isaiah and Angel. Through their letters, we gain invaluable insight into both characters. We see the atrocities of World War II that Isaiah experienced as well as the harsh reality of his homecoming.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars moving look @ romance in a dark time period and setting
Another powerful work by Barbara Samuel. The backdrop for her romantic story is jaw-dropping to say the least. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sarah L. Gruwell
2.0 out of 5 stars Too depressing and sad for me. Also I did not like the flashback...
I don’t want to read books about sorrow and the ugliness of man – painful and heart-wrenching. That’s what this book is. But some readers are in the mood for that. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Jane
4.0 out of 5 stars AN Engrossing Historical Romance
This is a novel that I feel may appeal to more than one type of reader. It is a lovely romance. It is about a long term love between an Afro-American male and a Euro- American... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Maureen Melle
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
This was a very good book. I loved the story, loved the characters. Highly recommend.
Published 8 months ago by herbalist
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Sleep on This One....
This book was a complete surprise, but the best surprise ever. The south is multifaceted as all regions are and this book showed its diversity in its truest sense. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Love To Read
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A GREAT read!!
Published 9 months ago by Tam_Fen
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting idea
A very interesting historical premiss, but does not flow easily. The first section drags and the end is predictable.
Published 10 months ago by Dr. Janet L. Roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars Love is strong
This read depicted WWII and the American racism well. The storyline had good descriptions & rang of issues still found. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Carol Blodgett
5.0 out of 5 stars A very emotional book
I read this while on vacation. It was an excellent story, full of love and hate and redemption. It's probably my favorite book of Ms. Samuel's.
Published 11 months ago by B. Erickson
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely worth a read
An excellent book. Got a little repetitive but overall a good read. Depicted racism at one of its lower points. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Nancy
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More About the Author

Barbara Samuel (O'Neal) has won the highly prestigious RITA award from Romance Writers of America 7 times and has been recently inducted into the RWA Hall of Fame. In the tradition of Kristin Hannah, Susan Wiggs, Maeve Binchy, and Barbara Freethy, she writes a highly emotional stories about families, food, dogs, and love. Many of her novels include recipes, and she has been known to cook in response to any stressful situation, learning that cooking is like life--sometimes things go wrong, but if you keep trying, eventually you'll get it right.

She also writes as Barbara O'Neal for Bantam books, where she has penned the award-winning The Lost Recipe For Happiness and How To Bake A Perfect Life, which was a Target Book Club Pick in 2011. She also wrote five titles of romantic women's fiction for Ballantine Books, including No Place Like Home, The Goddesses of Kitchen Avenue and Lady Luck's Map of Vegas. Her books have been translated into many languages and published widely around the world, including France, England, Poland, Australia, Italy, Germany, Brazil, and many others.

Barbara lives in the stunningly beautiful city of Colorado Springs with her beloved, a British endurance athlete who vows he'll never loose his accent.

She loves to talk with readers. Find her around the web in these avenues:

Websites: and
The Goddess Blogs:

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