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The Sleeping Night

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  328 ratings  ·  73 reviews
In 1940s Texas, an African American soldier returns to his hometown after fighting in World War II. His bitter memories of his father’s murder there make it unlikely he’ll stay in town for long; but then he reconnects with the young white woman who was his childhood friend.
ebook, 240 pages
Published June 2012 by Belle Bridge Books
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Average rating 4.10  · 
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 ·  328 ratings  ·  73 reviews

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Jun 03, 2012 rated it really liked it

Angel Corey learnt all she knew of racial tolerance and Christian love at her father's knee. Her beloved father Parker had returned from the First World War with an unswerving trust in God. Growing up in the first half of the twentieth century on the outskirts of Gideon, Texas in racially divided America, his store served the nearby black community.

As one of the few whites in the African-American neighbourhood, Angel's best friend was Isaiah High. For Isaiah being black meant that, despite the
Mary B.

Isaiah High and Angel Corey had been close friends since they were babies. Although they lived in the South under Jim Crow (he is black and she is white), Angel's father was unconventional and progressive for his time in that he was friendly to the blacks in Gideon, TX, and opened his store to them. He also maintained a close friendship with Isaiah's father, forged on the battle fields of WWI, and unbroken by the South's segregated and racist society.

As the children grew older, however, their
Alexis *Reality Bites*
Spoiler Free Review
4.5 STARS out of 5
Genre: Adult Historical Romance

'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 wartime letters kept him alive.
But he's black and she is white.
In 1946, Gideon, Texas, their undeniable love might get them both killed. ~In The Sleeping Night

The Sleeping Night is set in the
Jul 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
How can I begin to describe this unexpectedly stunning romance novel? First, let me just say that this is not a classic romance, it is more of a slice of history between 1926 and 1946 when the south is still very much segregated and it is impossible to think that a little white girl could befriend a little black boy. Angel Corey and Isaiah High have known each other since childhood, because both their daddies were genuinely very good friends. Also Angel’s father – a store-keeper - was an ...more
Sep 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: oct-12
A heartwarming, and at times heartbreaking, story of a black boy and a white girl growing up together in 1940's Texas. Isaiah High and Angel Corey were best friends until their teens when his Mom and her Dad thought it best to discourage their friendship as it would be looked down upon during that time.
Isaiah becomes an American soldier during World War 2 and the letters back and forth between him and Angel help them both through this horrific time while giving them hope for the future.
Upon his
Michelle [Helen Geek]
Jun 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
5 Stars

I wavered between 4 and 5 stars, but in the end, the slice of history we glimpse with this story sold me. The absolute courage demonstrated through the love of the two primary characters is sheer brilliance. The simple message ... Love one another.

"Isaiah to Angel:
"He didn't do you any favors, Angel. Your Daddy". She pulled mugs out of the cupboard. "Maybe not. But maybe that's how the world changes, Isaiah. One father, one child, at a time." "Mmm-hmm."

“Love one another. Love one another.
World War II is over, and lives will never be the same. For Isaiah High, the end of the war means knowing he’ll never be able to belong in Gideon, Texas again.

"He’d understood that his service had changed him. Until he’d been forced to board the colored car at the Mason Dixon line, he had not realized that it might be impossible to return to the Jim Crow South, to fit himself back into rigors of a system that now seemed antiquated and peculiar.

However much he and his fellow soldiers had
Jun 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
**4.5 stars**

The Sleeping Night is one of those books that takes you hostage and doesn't let you go. It was powerful and real in such a way that I was trembling with terror as I read it because I was so afraid for this couple. The book almost felt like literary fiction because it didn't have the normal trappings of a romance with the usual posturing hero or the certainty that everything would be alright. Instead it portrayed a love story on the road to tragedy.

This is the story of an interracial
That the audio-book took me so long to get through has nothing to do with the story, but with me not taking the time to listen to books, rather listen to music, while I cook and do house-chores after coming home from work.
I have read this book for the first time years ago, and I have to say that I can only conclude I was more impressed when I was a bit younger. True, this is still a story with a great message, but I was less captivated this time around. There's no doubt, the characters are
Jane Stewart
Too depressing and sad for me. Also I did not like the flashback method of writing.

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.

Technically there is a happy ending, but it did not feel good enough. I would not call it romance. I’d call it a tragic love story with a brief happy ending. A black man and white woman grew up together as best friends. As adults they were in love. But
Kristin Anders
Jun 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: History buffs, interracial couples
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. (Yes, you should definitely be discussing this book.)

How are the story lines?

Romantic and beautiful with heart wrenching realism about southern life during the 1940s.

Would you read it again?

Yes. Great literature should always be read again.


The Sleeping Night by Barbara Samuel tells the story of Angel Corey, a white daughter left alone after
Oct 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebook-arc
This was a fantastic and touching story. The main characters, Angel Corey and Isaiah High, were very sympathetic and likeable. The storyline was bittersweet and sometimes heartbreaking. The story pulled me in, and I couldn't put this book down. It is one that I very highly recommend, and I'm sure I'll be reading it again. I've read several books by Barbara Samuel under her various names, and she has not disappointed me yet.

Angel Corey and Isaiah High were very good friends until they grew to an
Lynn Spencer
Aug 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Starcrossed lovers show up often enough in romance, but rarely with such convincing emotion as in The Sleeping Night. Barbara Samuel's tale of an interracial couple in postwar Texas takes readers through a rollercoaster of emotion as we see her characters dealing with love, loss, and poisonous bigotry. I felt absolutely wrung out after reading this book, and I was in awe of the author's ability to create a story that made the reader feel so deeply invested in the central couple.

This is a
Feb 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes it's more difficult to talk about the books I liked a lot, just as The Sleeping Night, it triggers so many emotions and thoughts that you are not sure to be able to communicate that to all tothers. Wonderful, amazing but mostly true, here's how it might define in a few words.
The Sleeping Night tells the story of one kind of love between two people that everyone dreams about and that only great difficulty and fights are able to forge, for the right to have these feelings.
Angel and
Another powerful work by Barbara Samuel. The backdrop for her romantic story is jaw-dropping to say the least. I’m not sure that most romance novelists would feel comfortable setting such a tale in Jim Crow Deep South America right after WWII and make that romance interracial. It raises a lot of issues and emotions that may not be exactly conducive to a romance; yet, I’ve learned that this author isn’t afraid to explore some dark with her romantic light.

She explores all the horror that such a
Hannah Fielding
Jul 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful, passionate, thought-provoking story about forbidden love; this book will be going on my ‘favourite romances’ shelf.

From the blurb: 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
Jun 19, 2012 rated it liked it
If I could give this book 3.5 stars I would do so. Barbara Samuel has always excelled at creating romantic tension between hero and heroine, and you can't get much more tension than a black man and white woman in post-WWII Texas who know that they could be killed if they give into their attraction. Throw in a secondary character who survived the Holocaust and you've got a romance novel that was probably much too heavy for today's mainstream publishers. Good for Bell Bridge Books for pioking it ...more
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh what a treasure. This one and Barbara Samuel’s Midnight Rain are both going on “In Case of Fire, Grab These Books first” shelf.

A review of these two wonderful books in process....

ETA 11/5/19:

Reviewed here
Julie Kibler
Jun 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Teresa Medeiros
Oct 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I've been a Barb Samuel fan for years and this was a gorgeous novel illuminated by Barbara Samuel's usual emotional intensity and lyrical writing. It's an interracial romance set in post WWII Texas during a time when loving the wrong person could literally cost you your life. Angel and Isaiah were beautifully drawn, three-dimensional characters. I have to confess that I read the book with a lump of dread in my stomach because I was so afraid for the characters, but in the end the book was ...more
Elisabeth Lane
Jun 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, tbr-challenge
Wow. Intense. Filed under women's fiction rather than romance, which is interesting. The only way it doesn't fit is some literary time-hopping in the form of letters and book-ending the main story with a present-day anecdote. I think I'll review it for the blog so watch for more in a few weeks.
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not very well written. Had to force myself to finish. Only read it to help a friend who is getting romance novels read for a competition.
Leah  St.James
Jun 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Stunning writing, compelling plot that made me think (and laugh, and cry). I'm in awe of Barbara Samuel's skills as a story-teller.
Sep 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
So So SO Romantic! Every time the protagonists would be together, I swear, I'd get the chills! Oh how I love Isaiah :DDD
Aug 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of I/R or WWII Romance
Reviewed for THC Reviews
"4.5 stars" I absolutely love Barbara Samuel's stories of forbidden love, and now that I've read The Sleeping Night, I have yet another one to add to my keeper shelf. Ms. Samuel is one of the most talented authors I know at writing interracial tales of seemingly impossible love. She is also one of the best at conveying a deep sense of yearning between her characters that makes me as the reader want to weep with joy when they finally come together and get their HEA. I like
Jun 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
I never thought I'd say this but after reading this book I feel like I'm a hopeless romantic. This book was so much more than what I expected. At places, it was slow, there were grammatical errors and wrong spellings, but I got an ARC from Net Galley, so I can simply ignore the shortcomings and say that I reaaaaalllllly liked this book.

Full review with spoilers

This is the second book that I’ve read which is based on World War II but in this story it’s more on the sidelines.

The story revolves
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I technically didn't finish the book. I got to the epilogue and got too bored to read it. But I did read to the end chapter. The book is....fine. I mean, it had potential, for sure! It had a really fantastic concept at the beginning that went nowhere. Isaiah was so hardened by the things he saw in war, yes I get that. But the harsh realities of life, the basic rights withheld from his because of his skin color, THAT is something the book didn't get too into. The city the story is based in was a
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
I don't think I have ever read a story by Barbara Samuel that wasn't an immersive experience, andThe Sleeping Night certainly is just that. The majority of the story is set in post-World War II Texas and is told from the points of view of two childhood friends: Angel Corey andIsaiah High. Angel is white and Isaiah is black, a fact that the two never gave much thought to until they became teenagers and the world around them seemed to intervene and insist they not associate.

The fractured
Jul 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Originally posted at Romance Around the Corner

I came across this book on NetGalley by mere chance. I was intrigued by the setting and the premise so I requested it. It wasn’t an easy book to read but the story was riveting and very romantic.

The Sleeping Night is set in Texas just after WWII but it goes back in time through the character’s memories and a series of letters that the hero and heroine exchanged during his time in the war.

Isaiah and Angel were best friends while growing up. Angel’s
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Barbara Samuel is a multiple RITA award-winning author with more than 38 books to her credit in a variety of genres. She has written historical and contemporary romances, a number of fantasy novellas with the likes of Susan Wiggs, Jo Beverley and Mary Jo Putney. She now writes women’s fiction about families, dogs, and food as Barbara O’Neal.

Her work has captured a plethora of awards, including six
“Seems to me people are mean or evil because they're scared, mostly, or in pain, or afraid they're going to lose something.” 24 likes
“How could you carry the inside of a person with you and not call them a friend, no matter what the rules said?” 23 likes
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