Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Sleeping Night

Review by Nancy

Next door neighbors, basically but twenty worlds apart. Isaiah High and Angel Corey were best friends their entire lives until they became teens and then, by mutual unspoken agreement, they were pulled apart. Her dad and his mom saw things they didn’t and decided their way was best. And, in WW II Texas, it was.

Angel’s mom died at her birth, leaving her to be raised in her papa’s general store, on the riverbank in Gideon, Texas. Across the river, in lower Gideon, lived the folk who the other residents depended on: the maids, housekeepers, nursemaids, gardeners, drivers, etc. all poor. All black. Such is the environment Isaiah came from – his father was a Medal of Honor winner but, of course, in the 1940’s he didn’t get it. He was black.

Isaiah was encouraged to join the Armed Forces in WWII by Angel’s dad. He saw the storm coming in his part of Gideon and knew that Isaiah would change dramatically across the ocean in foxholes. What he didn’t plan on were the letters that passed between his daughter and the High boy weekly until the war ended. Then, as he had planned to never do again – Isaiah came home.

This story broke my heart. I knew, as we all do, of the Southern cruelties to people of color. And some even know of the worse cruelties inflicted on those associating with them. All the characters in this story, especially the small-minded; were written with purpose and truth. The Christians who absolutely were not and the few who tried to change their minds will be with me for quite awhile.

Not a fun beach read by any means but an absolutely wonderful story to ponder on while sitting under your favorite tree. You should read this.

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