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Tempest Rising

4.16  ·  Rating Details ·  705 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
It is 1965 in Philadelphia. Clarise, Finch, and their three adolescent daughters are living the dream life of the black financially privileged. Then everything changes with the suddenness of a violent summer thunderstorm. Finch's lucrative catering business falls on hard times. Finch is lost at sea, Clarise suffers an apparent nervous collapse, and the girls -- Shern, Blis ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published March 29th 2005 by HarperTorch (first published January 21st 1998)
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Jul 14, 2011 Rhonda rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 22, 2011 Shauna rated it really liked it
Lyrical, visible, visceral writing plunk you into West Philly where impressions are imperatively obeyed. It explores relationships: angst clashing mother and daughter, unconnected father and son, interwoven and united siblings.

Favorite quotes:

“..and since they knew the importance of keeping the hands moving when the heart is standing still, they doubled their usual production of two thousand bars of soap to four.”

“A steady tone of voice could sop up fear like a sponge, no matter what words were
Nov 13, 2012 Deena rated it it was amazing
All hail the Queen!!! Diane McKinney-Whetstone has done it again! I read Tumbling and thoroughly enjoyed it. I recommended it to anyone who would listen. I anxiously awaited the author's second novel and I was not disappointed!! The characters in this book were so well-written that I was instantly drawn into their world. I wanted to dislike Ramona, but was so intrigued by her that I found myself hoping that something good would happen for her. Shern, Victoria and Bliss were so brave and loyal to ...more
Feb 09, 2010 Hope rated it it was amazing
I started this book yesterday afternoon, and simply couldn't stop reading it. It is amazing! If you enjoy character-driven stories that make you feel like you're living the story, not just reading about it, I cannot recommend this novel highly enough. Just make sure you have some time, as I don't think you'll want to put it down, either :)
Gillian Brownlee
Oct 11, 2014 Gillian Brownlee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book completely randomly and finished it the same day I checked it out. It has several disturbing themes in it that I would've liked to see resolved or at least mentioned in more detail, but the story was decent and the characters had hints of depth that made me like them.
Alex Pearson
Jan 01, 2010 Alex Pearson rated it really liked it
It is 1965 in Philadelphia. Clarise, Finch, and their three adolescent daughters are living the dream life of the black financially privileged. Then everything changes with the suddenness of a violent summer thunderstorm. Finch's lucrative catering business falls on hard times. Finch is lost at sea, Clarise suffers an apparent nervous collapse, and the girls -- Shern, Bliss, and Victoria -- are discharged into the foster care of politically connected cardsharp Mae and her beautiful, dark-spirite ...more
Dan Downing
This sophomore effort flags a bit, not a great sin given the quality of McKinney-Whetstone's first effort. In all her books she follows the track laid out in the first two: create vital characters and escort them through the streets of Philadelphia. Given that geography, I, as a native of the city, have a prejudice toward liking these stories. But that is not a major factor in their quality. McKinney-Whetstone has the knack of putting people in tight spots and extricating them---usually---with a ...more
Solomon Jones
Jul 10, 2012 Solomon Jones rated it it was amazing
An excellent book by a talented and insightful author. Tempest Rising brings to life not only the tight knit community of West Philadelphia in the decades following the Great Migration, but the unexpected collateral damage caused to black businesses, and by extension, black families, at the beginning of integration. McKinney-Whetstone has a keen eye for emotional detail, and the talent to make her characters spring from the page.
Aug 03, 2007 Jeanne rated it really liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
After the death of a loving father and their mother's breakdown, three sisters are put into the foster system by a woman with a beef with the family (rather than under the care of loving aunts and uncles). They survive, under the care of the grown daughter of the fostermother, who resents the children for all the time and energy she's expended on other foster kids over the years. She learns to forgive and love and the sisters pull together and get through while their mother recovers.
Mar 14, 2008 stacia rated it it was ok
I read this a few years ago; I can't remember quite when. It's one of those books about children being abused and a mother going insane, if I remember correctly--but there was this singular, standout image I've never forgotten: the mother sits knitting and she either absently or deliberately cuts her wrists with the needles "until purple ribbons of blood covered her arms." One or more of the woman's daughters were looking on at the time. Chilling.
La Tonya  Jordan
Mar 21, 2015 La Tonya Jordan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to La Tonya by: Sisters With Soul Book Club
Shelves: favorites
This is another love story of a family when true love exist. It conquers all bridges. I love the author's writing style of bridging the information to the reader in a poetic style. Each detail of the rooms and the expressions on the characters faces is mastered. Excellent Read. The reader will find something new in this book each time you read it.
Dec 26, 2015 Nyssa rated it really liked it
Very interesting story. I enjoyed the book. The details of places and people were wonderful, and the story drew me in. There were times when the descriptions were so engrossing, I felt like I was there (the proverbial "fly on the wall"). My only complaint was the ending; it was abrupt and felt incomplete.
Feb 24, 2013 RYCJ rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-keepers
on one hand while I want to call the story enjoyable, because it really was, there's the other hand that prefers to leave my thoughts on a memorable fine reading experience. It was very hard to put this one down. I'll treasure it forever. It must be experienced.
Jena Williams
Oct 28, 2009 Jena Williams rated it it was amazing
Ooh, I loved this book. It was so much fun to read! And I hadn't really experienced a book that was so much fun before this one! It's a beautiful story about African American life, complete with lovely words and grand description!
Mar 23, 2010 Sarah rated it liked it
A friend of mine read this book and loved it. While I also loved her writing style, I kept expecting more to happen in the 200+ pages. It was definitely more about character development than the story itself, which is not all bad.
Oct 26, 2016 Deloris rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars this is a good book , I really liked this book but I wish the author would have given us more time with the ending .
Jan 03, 2015 Broadsnark rated it really liked it
I rarely let myself read for fun anymore. And when I do I'm often disappointed. But this was a good story with interesting characters.
Jul 20, 2008 De rated it really liked it
Whoo eee. What parents won't do to save their mentally ill children from themselves, including going underground.
Jan 01, 2015 Jenene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This author never disappoints. Stories are always heartfelt and makes you feel like you are there feeling every single emotion. Beautifully written. Highly recommend!!
Aug 16, 2010 D.L. rated it it was amazing
An old favorite of all time! Absolutely love the writing style. Have definitely read more than once.
Aug 22, 2008 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Great character development, beautifully written. I read this in my book club and it was a book that we all enjoyed, our favorite one so far. Great book to talk about and recommend to others.
Jan 19, 2014 Classic74 rated it it was ok
This is my lease favorite of her books that I have written. The story losses me and I find it hard to follow.
Janice Richardson
Janice Richardson rated it really liked it
Apr 24, 2014
Adrian rated it liked it
Jun 30, 2008
Dorothea rated it it was amazing
Apr 03, 2008
Tiffanybyndloss rated it liked it
Jul 15, 2012
Lorraine rated it it was amazing
Dec 20, 2016
Barbara rated it really liked it
Dec 08, 2008
Malachi Kidd
May 25, 2014 Malachi Kidd rated it it was amazing
Amazing story. Sad and painful yet riveting and full of hope.
Julie Topping
Julie Topping rated it it was amazing
Jan 09, 2016
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