The Sleeping Night-Barbara Samuel

The Sleeping Night

Barbara Samuel

Bell Bridge Books, Jun 21 2012, $14.95

ISBN: 9781611941272

 

In 1926 in Gideon, Texas, white Parker, who suffered injuries in the war, believes God demands that he act with kindness to the poor colored folks.  He and his family become friends with colored Jordan and his family.  However, “they” kill Jordan.  Parker refuses to turn his back on his friend’s widow and son as his daughter Angel and Jordan’s offspring Isaiah play together while growing up. 

 

During WWII, Isaiah serves in the military in the European theater.  He and Angel exchange letters that include recipes and vows of taboo love.  He earns the Medal of Honor, an award not given to colored people.  Yet his love for Angel places both of them in peril from the townsfolk who refuse to accept him as a war hero.  Isaiah and Angel flee to France where they marry.  In 2005, they are coming home to Gideon for a different reception than the one that exiled them six decades ago

 

Most of the action occurs during WWII, but with small bookend segments in 1926 and 2005 and a reference to 1972.  Thus readers obtain a strong historical that showcases how far race relationships have come in eight decades; especially since the end of WWII as the Greatest generation vets knew that blood flows red in combat.  Character driven by the interracial courageous lead couple, fans will agree we’ve come a long way baby, but have a long way to go.

 

Harriet Klausner

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