Angels Make Their Hope Here (Hardcover)

By Breena Clarke

Little, Brown and Company, 9780316254007, 288pp.

Publication Date: July 8, 2014

Other Editions of This Title:
Digital Audiobook (7/7/2014)
Paperback (7/7/2015)

List Price: 26.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Russell's Knob is not paradise. But already in 1849 this New Jersey highlands settlement is home to a diverse population of blacks, 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 Smoot presides as accidental patriarch, protector of his enterprising sister, Hattie, and his two rambunctious nephews. As Dossie busies herself with cleaning, cooking, and tending the chickens at Duncan's homestead, she wonders: Could this man, her rescuer--so godlike in her eyes, so much older than she--expect her to become his helpmeet?. Tentatively, Dossie begins to put down roots--until a shocking 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 a richly dramatic story of interracial harmony in the Civil War era--and of one woman's triumph in the crucible of history.

About the Author

Breena Clarke grew up in Washington, DC, and was educated at Webster College and Howard University. She is the author of two widely praised novels, River, Cross My Heart, which was a selection of Oprah's Book Club, and Stand the Storm. She lives in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Praise For Angels Make Their Hope Here


"Passionate, daramatic, and uplifting....Stand the Storm reads like a great nineteenth-century page-turner."—Gail Buckley, Washington Post Book World

"An evocative, historically rich book that brings the turbulent Civil War period alive."—Time

"An intense and memorable journey....Breena Clarke uses deceptively simple language to pack an insightful, powerful punch."—Robin Vidimos, Denver Post


"A genuine masterpiece....Full of grace and beauty and profound insights....It bears traces of Eudora Welty's charm and Toni Morrison's passion."—Michael Shelden, Baltimore Sun

"A compelling novel...Inspired by tales her parents told her about growing up in the 1920s, Clarke brings to life a whole neighborhood of vivid personalities, writing blacks back into Georgetown's history."—Denise Kersten, USA Today

"Seldom do I find a novel that I can recommend to everyone. My aunt likes a book to be both sad and funny. My mother-in-law hates violence and sex. Friends like lyricism and depth of theme. Everyone wants a good story. I'm delighted to say that River, Cross My Heart fills the bill in all these respects."—Sandra Scofield, Chicago Tribune

Coverage from NPR