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A Quiet Storm

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  483 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
In this vividly written, suspense-driven novel, the secrets shared between two sisters erupt in tragedy.

Rikki Moore was always the star of the family, easily outshining her younger sister, Stacy, at every turn. Smart, kind, and beautiful, it was no surprise when Rikki met and married the perfect man -- pediatrician Matt Dresden. Her students at 59th Street Elementary Sch

Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 10th 2002 by Touchstone
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Jul 08, 2015 rated it liked it
The author portrayed a very difficult situation - a family living with manic depression. I was impressed with the depth of information and the sensitive way each member was described. Living on the edge is exhausting. The young sister ages at each step of her sister's illness. In the end, who can judge?
Mar 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was a hard book to find but well worth it. It's about two sisters growing up together in California, one seems to have more of a difficult time than the other in some ways but not in others. It eventually becomes painfully clear that one of them has a mental illness. Maybe the end is a bit over the top but the lifelong love and struggles these two sisters share is heartfelt. I have a friend who volunteers with NAMI (shout out to Wendy!) and she always says how misunderstood and in the close ...more
Ivy Bambenek
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
Too many bible references and there was nothing really shocking or interesting about it.
Dec 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014-books
I need to start reading happier books.

This centers around two sisters, one who is a Manic Depressive and the other, who helps calm her sister and fix her problems. Stacey narrates, with a lot of wit and self deprecation about her and her sister's (Nikki) history. It starts with Nikki as a shining star but she quickly becomes a troubled adolescent who attempts suicide. Growing older doesn't help and medication doesn't either because it makes Nikki feel better and then she stops taking it. The la
May 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
This is the story of two African American sisters Arika and Anastacia, and Rikki's life as a manic depressive.
We see how crazy that Rikki gets and how their mother refuses to help. We see the toll that being Rikki's guardian takes on Stacy's life and the turmoil it creates.
I feel that this could have been summed up in a hundred less pages or so. It was just more and more of the same, how messed up and vulnerable Rikki was, and how sad it was for Stacy, whose life would fall apart just as she wa
Feb 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: cpl-books
A novel with a message that is beautifully written in parts, somewhat clunky in others, and not entirely successful as a result. The story of an African-American family in LA in the '80's with two daughters, the younger (who tells the story) constantly urged to "look after your sister". But the entire family is in denial and experts at enabling Rikki as she becomes increasingly disturbed. Diagnosed as manic-depressive as an adolescent (which the mother refuses to treat with therapy), she cycles ...more
Dec 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Hall very effectively tells a story of one family dealing with serious mental illness of one daughter. The effect on the other daughter--both directly, through manipulation and need, and indirectly, through parental denial--is presented in heart wrenching terms. The lengths to which the family, particularly the sister, went to protect the ill one and to keep the illness hidden is both remarkable and probably not unusual. There is no pretense here of a perfect family, at least, not by the author. ...more
Jul 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Rachel Howzell Hall did a great job describing mental illness in a way we can all understand. Part of the difficulty of mental disorders is that many people simply cannot grasp what they are or how they affect an individual. In this novel, two young girls grow up in a way many of us do but one of them happens to be afflicted with something much stronger. The author is able to relate to the reader as she depicts the day-to-day as well as the extraordinary hurdles this family goes through as they ...more
Apr 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It may not be a literary classic, but this book is one of my all time favorite books. I love how she addresses mental illness with such clarity and familiarity. It was almost as reminiscent as dealing with mental illness in our family. The author's detailed account of the time period's pop culture was surreal; I felt as if I was transported back to the day and time when I was a teenager. I loved this book.
Apr 12, 2016 rated it liked it
The book gave insight to what it would be like to grow up with a sister that was manic. The narrator Anastasia had to take care of her. Her sister Arrika had mood swings and couldn't stay happy. she was out of control with out her medicine but she didn't take it regularly. Arrika's constant irrational behavior was being covered up and the mother was in denial. Major themes of the story were lack of mental illness treatment, vanity, religion, and love.
Apr 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
I appreciated the author's afterward about raising awareness of mental illness, but the book itself read more like a lurid parable about the potential cost of knowing someone with bipolar disorder. There's some well-observed stuff in here, but I was ultimately baffled by the ending. I suspect I am not the target audience.
Oct 18, 2014 rated it liked it
This book has value for anyone who is confused by the erratic behavior of a friend or family member. The males in the book seem not to be there even if they are there in the story. There were times when I wondered why Stacy, the caretaker daughter, was not allowed to let it rip. Read it and give a copy to someone who is struggling with a manic depressive.
Aug 16, 2010 rated it liked it
This wasn't too bad at all. Takes you inside the world of those affected by mental illness. It was indeed a page-turner and an enjoyable read. Was fascinating watching the deterioration of one of the main characters. Mental illness does not discriminate. Also, I was raised Seventh-Day Adventist so it was kinda cool reading a book with that backdrop for a change.
May 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
I read this book as part of my book club.
This was a fascinating book about mental illness, a topic so infrequently discussed. The characters were believable and interesting. It held my attention the whole way through. Our book club enjoyed discussing this book.
May 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. I wish I could forget everything about it so that I can read it again for the first time. This is how much I loved this book. The author did a phenomenal job in addressing mental illness, especially in the black community. I can't say enough about this book.
Lauren Q
Nov 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Loved It! Quick read and very suspenseful.
May 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Quick, touching and interesting story about the effects of mental illness on family... so sad...
Sep 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
A difficult subject of one who suffers from Manic/Depression and how it affects family. A good read.
Apr 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book was crazy, good, but still crazy.
Aug 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: grown-up-books
Worth reading.
Sep 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Couldn't decide whether to rate this book 3 or 4. An excellent first novel for this author. Very believable characters, a quick read, a story with an end that's not all wrapped up in a pretty bow.
Aug 06, 2014 rated it liked it
(mixed-state rapid cycling--when depression and mania happen at the same time more than 4 times a year; imbalance in neurotransmitters)
Jun 29, 2012 rated it liked it
Quick, engaging read. Sometimes, though, I wanted the main character to be more forceful and not so passive. Amazing depth about mental illness.
Brandi Hicks
May 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
It was an intriguing but sad read, couldn't put it down.
Jun 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing

Lori Inouye
Feb 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Very good, thought provoking. Can't wait to discuss with my book club.
Sandy Neal
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
Well written but hard to read. Very depressing. Just like the life of a sister who feels responsible for a manic depressed older sister. Worth reading.
Jun 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Not bad, a quick read. Interesting story about mental illness.
Aug 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is between a 3 and a 4. Well written account of mental illness and its effect on a family (primarily the younger sister). I found it too depressing a book for summer reading!
Suraiya Mehnaz
rated it it was amazing
Apr 09, 2013
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The Rory Gilmore ...: March's book 2015 A Quiet Storm 2 94 Apr 03, 2015 03:19PM  
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RACHEL HOWZELL HALL is the author of seven novels, including the critically-acclaimed Detective Elouise Norton series. The third novel in the series, Trail of Echoes, was published this past May and received a coveted Kirkus Star and was one of Kirkus Reviews 'Books That Kept Us Up All Night.' Land of Shadows and Skies of Ash (Forge) were included on the Los Angeles Times’ “Books to Read This Summ ...more
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