Angels Watching Over Me (Shenandoah Sisters, #1)
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Angels Watching Over Me (Shenandoah Sisters #1)

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  2,225 ratings  ·  242 reviews
Book 1 of SHENANDOAH SISTERS. Two young Southern girls, one the daughter of a plantation owner and one the daughter of a slave, barely survive the onset of the Civil War and the loss of both their families. When these tragic circumstances bring them together, they join forces to discover if they can make a life for themselves. As their preconceptions give way to experience...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 1st 2003 by Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group
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I was actually enjoying this free kindle book until the story just ended without any kind of resolution. I know the author is hoping to leave the reader wanting to purchase the sequel, but I have been burned twice before by the second book just ending with no resolution, or not being very good. If you want to see a good example of an author using the free first book to draw the reader into their characters, see Chop-Chop by LN Cronk. I am now on the 4th book of the series and do not regret at al...more
Babette Torres
A beautiful story of a friendship unfolding between two girls who turn to God, and right beneath your nose you realize this friendship blossoming is really them finding family again in their new friendship. I truly enjoyed this book!
Karen & Gerard
Angels Watching Over Me by Michael Phillips is about two teen girls whose families both got killed after the Civil War. Katie is a daughter of a white plantation owner and Mayme is a black slave girl who grew up on a different plantation. Shortly after the death of their families, the two girls actually become friends and help each other. Although they have different backgrounds and different talents, they work together to protect each other, and run the plantation on their own. Mayme is practic...more
This is the first book of a series about the teenage daughter of a southern plantation owner who finds herself on her own when her family is slain during the chaos of the post-civil war days. First out of necessity and then genuine friendship she partners with a former teenage house slave whose family was also murdered at a neighboring plantation. Although they do not know each other they quickly develop a practical and emotional dependency that carries them through grief and the realization tha...more
While the bulk of the narrative is an engaging story with interesting characters, the beginning of this book really left a bad taste in my mouth. The remainder of the story is quite touching and well written once the narrative begins about the two teenage girls. I just wish the first chapter could be rewritten or omitted. The imagery used to show the narrator's "otherness" as an African American woman was heavy handed to me. Also note that the n***** word is used, and it was in the elderly woman...more
Had potential in the beginning with Mayme retroactively telling the story from an old age. Very thoughtful and interesting but unfortunately, that didn't last. Once the action began, I found the story telling to be simplistic and the dialogue lacking. I've read "Cold Mountain," which bears some faint similarities in subject matter (not spiritually, per say, but with two females, one coddled and helpless, one isolated and forced to fend for herself, both end up sort of saving each other). Stylist...more
This was a free book, in a series of books. My local library doesn't have any of the books. I did find the books in two near by libraries.

I have often wondered what the slaves did after they were declared to be free. This novel tells of a friendship between a white plantation owners daughter, and a teen aged slave. Both of the girls had their families murdered by marauders, who road in on their horses, and shot the plantation owners and their slaves.

The girls used their combined skills to surv...more
Marianne Wonnacott
I was completely taken in by the very believable characters. Really enjoyed the story of two young girls, one white and one black, who have to learn to survive after witnessing a terrible tragedy after the end of the Civil War.

It got a little far-fetched in the end, but still captivating. I guess the only thing that I struggled with is the drastic change in personality of Katie towards the end of the book. I realize people change, especially in extreme circumstances, but it was so sudden. I wou...more
Rachel Dixon
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Solid 3 stars. I enjoyed this and I thought it had potential. I'll probably get around to finishing the series eventually. I loved Mayme's narration... at times. It felt like she had a really clear voice especially in the beginning and then the voice would get hazy here and there. I wondered at one point close to the beginning if the narrator had changed because the voice was so different. Another reason this gets 3 stars (I liked it, not REALLY liked it) is that I like books in a series to be a...more
Melanie Smith
I really do not know what I was expecting with this book, but I will be honest. I picked it up and I could not put it down. The writing and the story is incredible. I live in the south and I was born and raised here. We here stories growing up and I have visited historical sites and museums, but Angels Watching Over Me, truly made me feel like I was part of the story.
I have ordered the next two books and plan on having lots of coffee by the time they get here.
This book is one of the best reads I have seen in a while!

Though it is only part of the whole series. I hope that all can be combined into a novel. I love the two natures of Mary Ann and Kathleen and how God puts them together and the sisterly love that grows from this. Both characters have a strength and beauty that keeps you glued to this well written book.
Anne Hamilton
The story is an overall engaging one of two girls - one white, one black - who meet in the aftermath of post-Civil War marauding in Shenandoah. Both are traumatised by the loss of their families to a roving band of renegade soldiers, who are taking out their destructive anger by murdering anyone in their path.

It is told from the point of view of Mayme, now an old woman, who is telling the tale of how a Southern belle and a slave girl came to be the best of friends, while adjusting to their own...more
There was a lot about this story that I liked, including the characters and the setting and the story line. But there were things I didn't like.

The ending for one, or lack thereof. It's the first book of the series and it pretty much just... stops. There is no real resolution or conclusion or anything to signal the reader that they've reached "the end." In fact, I read the e-book version and was set aback when I realized that was it! I'd reached the end. Seriously? Yup. Done.

The book is written...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Crystal Laine
I'd always intended to read this. I read the first book (this one) in a day, and am almost finished the series now. The main characters are engaging and believable.

I think my favorite character is Henry, though his character takes on a bigger role later in the series. There are surprises, but you do get foreshadowing and will guess at what it will be, but that doesn't take away the enjoyment of the series. If you read the first one, just keep reading as this story is better told in flowing sequ...more
Debbi Vogt
I loved this book. It is an easy quick summer read and the price was perfect. Can't wait to read the rest of the series.
Linda Harris
The story was okay, but the problems with this story are too numerous to count. It isn't too historically accurate. Who ever wrote mayme,the black characters prespective, should have spoken to some black people before doing it and should have done more intensive research about slavery and the dynamics of the institution. This story is so watered down, I wonder if it is for children. There isn't an adequate depiction of slavery in this book, nor is this story realistic. If you can overlook those...more
Alicia Willis
3 Stars
Best for ages 14+ for some adult content and some violence. Please note that the gritty realities of what slavery can do are revealed (although not nearly as vividly in a book such as Uncle Tom’s Cabin).

Angels Watching Over Me is the tale of two cultural classes being forced to accept each other for who they are and rely on each other’s strength. Namely, it deals with a white girl and a slave girl during the time of the Shenandoah Massacre following the Civil War.

The feeling for the era,...more
Mayme Jukes and Katie Clairborne both grew up on plantations near the same town in Shenandoah County, North Carolina, but their lives were vastly different. Mayme was born into slavery, while Katie enjoyed a privileged life as the daughter of a wealthy plantation owner. But in the final days of the Civil War, the two teenagers are thrown together when both of their families are murdered by marauding outlaw soldiers. Fleeing from the massacre of her family, Mayme stumbles across Katie's plantatio...more
Barb Klein
“Angels Watching Over Me” was written by Michael Phillips as the first book in the Shenandoah Sisters Series. It is a post-Civil War story written about two young girls, one white and one black, living in North Carolina. Katherine Claiborne is the daughter of a plantation owner. Her father and three brothers are away at war and her mother Rosalind and Katie, as Katherine is called, are left to tend the plantation along with the slaves that the Claiborne’s own helping to tend the fields and doing...more
I love historical fiction, especially from this time period. This book fell flat for me, though. I felt like it took too long for the story to get started, but once it did, I began to enjoy the novel. There were some parts that were really engaging. I really felt for Katie and Mayme, however, I was frustrated that certain ideas/events were not developed (such as whatever is hidden in the safe and how it might potentially help the girls). I also felt the book ended abruptly. Katie's idea of conti...more
Betsy Garufi
I really enjoyed this book! It was a nearly free download to my Nook from BookBub. Over the summer, on a long weekend with not much to do I decided to delve into it -- and I was hooked! It is not a "preachy" Christian novel in anyway, just a great historical fiction story about two teen girls and how their lives intertwine and the friendship that grows. Exciting pace kept me wanting to keep reading to find out what happened next. I need to get the sequel!
Tori Moore
This book didn't bowl me over but I liked it enough to give the next book in the series a try. It's a very easy read and I am taken with both characters, Katie and Mayme, so I'm curious to read what happens next. Several other reviewers have mentioned a similarity to Cold Mountain and I can see it, too, but I'm intrigued by the relationship between the two young women - one a white slaveowner's daughter and the other a slave. It adds a layer of complexity to the story that makes it that much mor...more
Just be aware that, although this book can be enjoyed by adults, it is definitely written so that a young person can read it easily. Nothing in it is difficult for a child (age 8+) to read. Although the word rape is used, it is not described; so no worries, parents. There are some scenes that might be hard for little ones to enjoy, as two families are murdered in a marauding spree by evil men.
All that being said, for young adults (and adults) this is a very nice historical fiction book beginning...more
Well written. Not my usual type of book though. It was interesting enough that I was able to read the entire thing without long breaks. But it was still just barely on this side of slow. Other than a couple of exciting page turning scenes the story just slowly trotted along. I get the impression that this is the type of series that gets better with each book. I'm interested enough to read book 2 because I'd like to see what happens to the girls and where they go once they leave Rosewood.
Wendi Newsome
The story line was very interesting and I enjoyed reading the book but I was thoroughly disappointed with the abrupt ending that gave no closure to the story. Even if the story is to be continued in later books there should be some feeling of resolution in the end. The end was silly and trivial in relation to the heavy subject matter in the rest of the book. I'm no longer interested in reading the other books in the series.
Linda B.D.
A review of all 4 books in this series. Wow! What a fantastic story. Quite different than any I've read so far. Set in the 1800's, during one of the most famous raids, children are left alone to fend for themselves. This shows exactly what it was like during these times. Clear characters & smoothly written. Each book just keeps on getting better. A huge thank you to the author for these great books.
I was completely engrossed by the insurmountable horrors both Mayme and Katie experience. Their shared experiences bring these two races together in ways that completely transform their lives. I found myself, more times than not, with a lump in my throat, wondering how they could possibly make such a terrible situation work in their favor. Absolutely can't wait to read the sequel!
Great writing about people you immediately you want to know better and then get hooked into their lives and how they handle the challenges that come to them. Two young girls manage to keep a plantation running after the Civil War with out family or help. Amazing and interesting to learn along with them how to use your wits and hard work to succeed.
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Librarian Note: there is more than one author with this name in the Goodreads database.

Michael Phillips has been writing in the Christian marketplace for 30 years. All told, he has written, co-written, and edited some 110 books. Phillips and his wife live in the U.S., and make their second home in Scotland.
More about Michael Phillips...
The Crown and the Crucible (The Russians, #1) A House Divided (The Russians, #2) A Day to Pick Your Own Cotton (Shenandoah Sisters #2) The Color of Your Skin Ain't the Color of Your Heart (Shenandoah Sisters #3) Travail and Triumph (The Russians, #3)

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