From the author of the bestseller River, Cross My Heart—a compelling and lyrical novel about a young black woman in the Civil War era who finds refuge in a racially tolerant community.
Russell’s Knob is not paradise. But already in 1863 this New Jersey highlands settlement is home to a diverse population of blacks and whites and reds who have intermarried and lived in relative harmony for generations. It is a haven for Dossie Bird, who has escaped north along the Underground Railroad and now feels the embrace of the Smoot family: Duncan (so much older than Dossie; could he expect her to be his helpmeet?), his reticent sister, his exuberant nephews, and a circle of friends that includes the local spirit woman, Noelle. Tentatively, Dossie begins to lay down roots—until an act of violence propels her away from Russell’s Knob and eventually into the mayhem of New York City’s mean streets.
With the same storytelling brio that distinguished the acclaimed novels River, Cross My Heart and Stand the Storm, Breena Clarke weaves the richly dramatic story of one woman’s triumph in the crucible of history.
“Angels Make Their Hope Here is a compelling story about conflicts between conscience, culture, and one’s calling.… Clarke expertly engages our senses as she weaves nature, dreams, and ancestors into each chapter. Readers are wrapped up in the emotions, beliefs, and convictions of a peculiar people…Their existence is real, yet somewhat mystical as their gods dwell among and over them.”
RT Book Reviews (4½ stars)
“Though individuals, and not the sweep of history, are the focus, this coming-of-age story of Dossie—spirited into Russell’s Knob via the Underground Railroad—illuminates the terrible reach that slavery laws had into the lives of free black people in American towns and cities of the time. As Dossie grows from a scared girl to a strong woman, learning from the people around her and the trials she endures, readers will feel the pull of the fictional community of Russell’s Knob and have hope that Dossie will thrive there.”
“Set in the years leading up to the Civil War, in settings from the wilds of New Jersey to the streets of New York during the draft riots, Clarke’s novel offers fascinating characters coping with heritage, identity, and complicated relationships.”
- Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
- Genre: Fiction/Historical
- ISBN-13: 9781478924258