Customer Reviews


65 Reviews
5 star:
 (45)
4 star:
 (15)
3 star:
 (4)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


55 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Telling of Forbidden Romance
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...
Published on June 23, 2012 by Kristin Anders

versus
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow but worth the time
One of the marks of a good author in my opinion is the ability to make the reader feel as though they are there within the story. Perhaps as one of the characters but more likely, at least in my case, as an ever present observer.....the proverbial fly on the wall if you will. This author's "In The Midnight Rain" was one such book. In that story it was as if I could...
Published 21 months ago by Amazon Customer


‹ Previous | 1 27 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

55 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Telling of Forbidden Romance, June 23, 2012
This review is from: The Sleeping Night (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant story of forbidden love, June 16, 2012
This review is from: The Sleeping Night (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Barbara Samuel at her best, June 17, 2012
This review is from: The Sleeping Night (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moving and heartfelt, July 12, 2012
This review is from: The Sleeping Night (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. And through Angel, we see the toll the war takes on those left behind.

The Sleeping Night is a heartbreakingly stark but realistic portrayal of the racial inequalities and injustices that existed far too long in Southern culture. Although the story is sometimes slow moving, Barbara Samuel keeps the tension high with the reader wondering how this poignant romance will ultimately end. A moving and heartfelt story that everyone should read.

Review copy obtained from publisher through NetGalley.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A poignant romance from a lyrical author, July 20, 2012
By 
B. Pattillo (Nashville, TN United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Sleeping Night (Kindle Edition)
The Sleeping Night, like its heroine Angel Corey, is at once fragile and strong, beautiful and plain. With her trademark lyrical style, Samuels peels back the layers of a forbidden relationship to show how the presence of the holy transcends even the worst of human behavior. The relationship between Angel and Isaiah embodies both the tragedy and the hope of all those who struggled to be fully human in the Jim Crow south. I enjoyed this book for both the finely done romance and the poignant depiction of a difficult age.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Historical Fiction/Romance, July 4, 2012
This review is from: The Sleeping Night (Kindle Edition)
I am very moved to think of times in our country's not too distant past when relationships between white people and black people were anything but equal. I'm not unaware of the fact that there are many places still in our country where people are mistreated or looked down upon because of the color of their skin. There are many reasons why I think this is appalling, but this is a book review, not a soapbox; so I will not digress.

In The Sleeping Night, Isaiah High has come back from World War 2 to Gideon, Texas. He is determined to leave again as soon as he fulfills a promise to a dear older neighbor. Because in Gideon is the woman he loves but can never have. Isaiah is black. Angel is white. And in Gideon, Texas in the 1940s, both of their lives could be in danger because of it.

This was a beautiful story. I can only describe it as beautiful. The language was poetical. The descriptions were detailed. I felt for Angel and Isaiah. I felt as if I was there, experiencing the deep hatred and unfairness of the times. I cheered for Angel, the strong and determined heroine. I ached for Isaiah, the very real and bitter hero. I was very moved by their plot.

Barbara Samuel does an excellent job relating the atmosphere in the deep south during those turbulent times. And the comparisons between the treatment of the blacks and Hitler's treatment of the Jews in World War 2 were very thought provoking. She uses letters interspersed throughout the chapters to describe the horrors of war that Isaiah faced and to help us understand the current relationship between Angel and Isaiah.

There is some sexual description- very minor and definitely not gratuitous. There is a deep spirituality throughout the novel as Angel and Isaiah both struggle to make sense of God's plan throughout the tragedies they face. It's definitely not marketed as a Christian novel with the sex and some strong language, but it does ask (and answer) some of the same questions that a Christian novel would ask from the same perspective.

I give this one a strong 5 stars and an R rating for sexual references and language.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Angel and Isaiah's story is beautiful, July 29, 2012
This review is from: The Sleeping Night (Paperback)
Next door neighbors, basically but twenty worlds apart. Isaiah High and Angel Corey were best friends their entire lives until they became teens and then, by mutual unspoken agreement, they were pulled apart. Her dad and his mom saw things they didn't and decided their way was best. And, in WW II Texas, it was.
Angel's mom died at her birth, leaving her to be raised in her papa's general store, on the riverbank in Gideon, Texas. Across the river, in lower Gideon, lived the folk who the other residents depended on: the maids, housekeepers, nursemaids, gardeners, drivers, etc. all poor. All black. Such is the environment Isaiah came from - his father was a Medal of Honor winner but, of course, in the 1940's he didn't get it. He was black.
Isaiah was encouraged to join the Armed Forces in WWII by Angel's dad. He saw the storm coming in his part of Gideon and knew that Isaiah would change dramatically across the ocean in foxholes. What he didn't plan on were the letters that passed between his daughter and the High boy weekly until the war ended. Then, as he had planned to never do again - Isaiah came home.
This story broke my heart. I knew, as we all do, of the Southern cruelties to people of color. And some even know of the worse cruelties inflicted on those associating with them. All the characters in this story, especially the small-minded; were written with purpose and truth. The Christians who absolutely were not and the few who tried to change their minds will be with me for quite awhile.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow but worth the time, December 16, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Sleeping Night (Kindle Edition)
One of the marks of a good author in my opinion is the ability to make the reader feel as though they are there within the story. Perhaps as one of the characters but more likely, at least in my case, as an ever present observer.....the proverbial fly on the wall if you will. This author's "In The Midnight Rain" was one such book. In that story it was as if I could actually hear and feel the music, was there swaying to the beat. It was for this reason I looked for other books by Ms. Samuel and settled on "The Sleeping Night". Unlike "....Midnight Rain" which I could not bear to put down until I read it straight through to the end, I found the pace of "The Sleeping Night" very slow.....sleepy is the word that comes to mind. Three times I found myself setting it aside. Once was to finish another book I had started but had taken a break from. Twice was to start - and finish - other books while "The Sleeping Night" sat unfinished and waiting. Yet, despite the slowness that frustrated me, I never doubted I would eventually return to finish the story. And the final 15% of the book was well worth wading through the 85% that meandered along. Thanks to Ms. Samuel's vivid portrayals Angel and Isiah were so real to me I felt I could reach out and touch them. I saw as if with my own eyes the tiredness on the faces of the women who worked as domestics for the white folk. I felt and sympathized with Mrs. High's fear for her son. It took no imagination at all to envision myself walking the same roads that Angel and Isiah walked. I rated this book a 2 for the too slow pace. I rated it a 4, or more accurately a 4.5, for the subject matter and for the author's remarkable talent. Averaging it out explains my 3 rating or, again more accurately, 3.25 if such ratings were available. Despite my complaint about the too slow pace, I do recommend this book. And I will be reading more by Ms. Samuel.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing story to read, July 19, 2012
This review is from: The Sleeping Night (Kindle Edition)
The story starts off in Gideon, Texas in 2005 at a bookstore. These ladies are gathered there to hear a reading of Angel Corey's experience growing up in Gideon. As Angel starts reading her story, we go back to 1926 where we meet a young Angel and her friend Isaiah High and there special friendship. A friendship that would be looked down upon during that time, giving the fact that Angel is white and Isaiah is black. We jump ahead 20 years in the story, we find Isaiah returning from World War II and trying to keep his feelings for Angel hidden from everyone including himself. However, circumstances throw Isaiah in the path of Angel. They rekindle there friendship.

AMAZING! Giving the fact that there love for each would be forbidden in the 1940s or given any other decade until after the civil rights movement. I love how Angel loved him no matter what his skin color was, she truly saw him as a person she could admire. Isaiah trying to keep them both safe by hiding his true feelings for her. What a powerful and moving story that is really worth reading. It gives hope to true love.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Chilling look into the past., June 24, 2012
This review is from: The Sleeping Night (Kindle Edition)
Angel and Isaiah grew up together, they had loved each other most of their lives. But this was the South in 1946. Neither one had ever admitted it, even to themselves. Because She was white and he was black and that could get them both killed.
It is a heart wrenching story of love, violence, hatred and evil. Both in Europe and in Texas. A story that will chill you to the bone. Made worse by the fact that you know it could be true. I won't give away the end, but I know, this is one story you will never forget, and hopefully we will neither forget or forgive the things that happened in our country, in Hitler's Europe, in the end both were born of unmentionable evil.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 27 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

The Sleeping Night
The Sleeping Night by Barbara Samuel
$3.99
Add to wishlist See buying options
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.