Angels Watching Over Me (Shenandoah Sisters Book #1)

Angels Watching Over Me (Shenandoah Sisters Book #1)

4.2 330
by Michael Phillips

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Book 1 of SHENANDOAH SISTERS. Two young Southern girls, one the daughter of a plantation owner and one the daughter of a slave, barely survive the onset of the Civil War and the loss of both their families. When these tragic circumstances bring them together, they join forces to discover if they can make a life for themselves. As their preconceptions give way to…  See more details below


Book 1 of SHENANDOAH SISTERS. Two young Southern girls, one the daughter of a plantation owner and one the daughter of a slave, barely survive the onset of the Civil War and the loss of both their families. When these tragic circumstances bring them together, they join forces to discover if they can make a life for themselves. As their preconceptions give way to experience, they gradually learn to value their contrasting and complementing strengths and skills as they face the formidable task of keeping body and soul together in the aftermath of this devastating war. But is it possible the Lord they have come to know has something bigger in mind for the plantation than either of them can imagine?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this first book in the Shenandoah Sisters series, Phillips, a prolific author and longtime CBA bookseller, offers a light historical novel with the flavor of young adult fiction. Mary Ann "Mayme" Jukes is a young African-American slave girl living in Shenandoah County, in North Carolina, in the 1860s. When marauding outlaw Confederate soldiers kill her family, she escapes to Rosewood, another plantation owned by the white family of Kathleen "Katie" Clairborne. Here, Mayme finds more devastation; 15-year-old Katie is the only person left alive. The girls become friends and together vow to run the plantation and keep the adults' deaths a secret until Katie comes of legal age to own the debt-ridden property. The book is mostly a collection of short, sketchy scenes, presumably setting up events for the next book in the series. Phillips's prose is simple and workmanlike, adeptly moving the events along. The reader is left with a few questions (the plantation is devastated, yet the girls have plenty of livestock and groceries), and the spiritual thread is fairly basic (God tells Mayme directly what to do, and they speak to each other in italics). The epilogue leaves the reader hanging until the promised second installment. Young evangelical Christian women looking for escapist historical fiction will find this passable, if not particularly memorable, entertainment. (Jan.)

Product Details

Baker Publishing Group
Publication date:
Shenandoah Sisters , #1
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Barnes & Noble
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579 KB

Read an Excerpt

A Visit to Town
The sun dawned just as it had many times before during Kathleen Clairborne’s young life.

She rolled over in bed to see its light slanting through her window. She gave a sleepy sigh of pleasure. It was Monday and no more rain was in sight. They would be able to go into town. Her mother had promised her a new dress for her birthday, but Katie had been afraid more rain might cancel the outing. Greens Crossing was six miles away. It was not a trip her mother made often, especially if the road was muddy.

There was not anything unusual about this particular day. The sun had beamed into Katie’s window on countless mornings just like it. Yet this would not be like any of those other days.

Katie would look back on this as the day when, for her, everything began to change.

Greens Crossing was not a large town. A handful of stores, a livery stable, a school, a church, a bank, a general store and post office, and one saloon clustered together at the intersection of two roads. We lived a little closer to town than she did, but I’d never set foot in it in my life.

Though the Clairbornes’ Rosewood was not the largest plantation of the region, they were known by most of the citizens of Greens Crossing. Richard Clairborne, Katie’s father, was a hard worker, fair to his slaves, faithful to his family, but a man who kept mostly to himself. He didn’t have close friends in town. His three sons were like him in that way. Neither they nor Katie attended the Greens Crossing school. The Clairbornes weren’t seen at church except for occasional special circumstances. Six miles is a fair piece by horse and buggy.

Once or twice a year, Mrs. Clairborne rode the even more daunting nineteen miles into Charlotte. That’s where she bought her own clothes and Katie’s and did most of the family’s shopping. But Katie had grown two inches over the winter, and the dressmaker in Greens Crossing was as skilled as any in the city. Since it would not be until later in the summer that she and her husband would be taking a wagon into Charlotte again, the buggy would carry them into Greens Crossing today.

Katie and her mother left the dressmaker’s an hour after arriving in town and stepped from the wooden sidewalk to cross the dirt street.

"Hello, Rosalind," a woman’s voice called out behind them.

Mrs. Clairborne paused and turned toward the general store owner’s wife, who had spoken to her. Katie continued into the street, still thinking of the soft, pretty fabric they had picked out and the bright yellow hat they had ordered to go with the new dress. She didn’t notice her mother stopping to chat with Mrs. Hammond. Neither did she see two riders suddenly gallop recklessly around the saloon at the corner.

A tumult of shouts and whinnies suddenly filled the air.

"Get outta the way, you—!"

Mrs. Clairborne swiftly turned toward the ruckus.

"Katie ... watch out!" she cried as she ran frantically toward the street.

Suddenly a man’s heavy step ran past Mrs. Clairborne. The next instant Katie was thrown to the ground. A second later the riders thundered by.

The tall, lanky Negro picked himself up off the ground beside the frightened girl. He stooped down, took her hand, and pulled Katie to her feet.

"Yo needs be a mite mo careful crossin’ da street, Miss Kat’leen," he said, brushing the dirt from his trousers and shirt. "Dem two soldiers mighta run right ober da top er you."

Mrs. Clairborne rushed toward them.

"Oh, Henry, I can’t thank you enough!" she exclaimed to the black man who worked in the livery stable. "Katie, are you all right?" she said, taking Katie’s hand. Still too stunned to speak, Katie nodded.

"Dern blamed soldiers," muttered Henry, who had bought his own freedom some years before, "dey been raisin’ a ruckus roun’ ’bout fo days now. Ah doan know what’s goin’ on. De’re all ridin’ down t’ Charleston. Somethin’s up fo sho—I been hearin’ talk ’bout an army gatherin’. Yor husband joinin’, ma’am?"

"I don’t know, Henry," sighed Mrs. Clairborne. "I really don’t know."

As they talked, Katie gazed up into the face of the tall man. The shine in his eyes and the gleam of his perfect teeth drew her gaze into his earnest countenance. An uncommon sensation of gratitude welled up within the heart of the young white girl for the Negro man who had run in front of racing horses’ hooves to keep her from being trampled.

Mrs. Clairborne’s voice intruded abruptly into Katie’s reflections.

"Kathleen, sometimes I wonder if there’s a brain in that head of yours," she said, pulling on Katie’s hand as they walked away. "What gets into you to wander into the street like that?"

"Ah wouldn’t be too hard on da chil’, ma’am," said Henry from behind them.

"I’m grateful for what you’ve done, Henry," rejoined Mrs. Clairborne, turning back toward the stable hand, "but now you must really mind your own business. The child is careless and scatterbrained. She needs to watch where she is going."

"Yes’m," said the black man. He tipped his hat to mother and daughter, then ambled back in the direction of the livery.

Excerpted from:
Angels Watching Over Me (SHENANDOAH SISTERS, Book 1)by Michael Phillips
Copyright © 2002, Michael Phillips
Published by Bethany House Publishers
Used by permission. Unauthorized duplication prohibited.

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Angels Watching over Me 4.2 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 330 reviews.
RedComet More than 1 year ago
The beginning of an 8 book series, I could not wait to get to the next one. And I was so sorry to finish the last one. They were impossible to put down. The story was gripping from the first page. The people were so real, you could imagine yourself there. Just enough humor and mystery to keep you interested.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. Until the end!!!! When is the second book coming out???? Can't wait to read it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mayme Jukes and Katie Clairborne both grew up on plantations near the same town in Shenandoah County, North Carolina, but their lives were vastly different. Mayme was born into slavery, while Katie enjoyed a privileged life as the daughter of a wealthy plantation owner. But in the final days of the Civil War, the two teenagers are thrown together when both of their families are murdered by marauding outlaw soldiers. Fleeing from the massacre of her family, Mayme stumbles across Katie's plantation, where she is the only one left alive. Mayme stays to help Katie, and eventually the girls become close friends in spite of their differences. But can these two teenage girls survive on their own, and hide the truth that they are all alone on the plantation? I highly recommend this heartwarming historical novel about two girls from very different backgrounds who, after suffering a common tragedy, come together to help each other out, eventually becoming the best of friends. Although labeled as an adult book, I think this novel would have the most appeal to teenagers, because of the young characters. I look forward to reading the rest of the books in this series and finding out what happens to Mayme and Katie next.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i really loved this book. i love how both the girls learn how to make it on there own and how its writen like Mamye is tell the story. this book is a page turner and i read it in 3 days. i think everyone would love this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is just superb. I loved every bit of it. It had me on my toes the whole entire time. I couldn't put it down. I kept forgetting that it was fiction. It also suprised me that the author was a white man. He makes it seem like he was there or something. It is just a wonderful book and i love it.
Loves-to-read-41 More than 1 year ago
The first in a series of 4books featuring the same characters. I enjoyed all four books. A good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a book I did not want to put down. You can't help but share in the sarrow of these young girls. Their strenght is amazing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really hate how these authors write these 200 page books, then span them out into several books just to make you buy more books,with each book costing more and more,but only about 200 pgs per book. Its a rip off. I refuse to pander to these authors that do this. They could put these books together into one book, instead they cut them up and you end up paying a fortune for them. They are not worth it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book surprised me at every turn. It's a great book about how two girls learn to look past the racial barriers of their time, no small feat for the time period they were born into, and survive and thrive in spite of their circumstances. I went out the day I finished it and bought the sequel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Grt bk as r all and it captures the era well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the whole series
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! From the beginning til the end Michael keeps his readers interest..I couldn't put this book down and finished it within a week!! I loved the details and how he made you feel like you were actually there watching all this unfold!! Another great book Michael Phillips! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was really a good read. I could not put this book down. Two young girls from different worlds endure tragedy. Courage, honesty, hard work ,and love carries the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love that it is based on the Civil War and how two different girls have a certain story to tell. You'll enjoy it! Its free!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was really awsome! I love historical fictions. It was really hard to put it down! I loved the relationship between the two girls, i almost cried at the end when it was over! I would definately recomend this book, especially for younger teenage girls. It's a great story!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is great I really got into the story! I got the book from my grandma for a christmas gift and I couldn't put it down! I got done with it in a day! !!! Highly Recommended !!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Full of life lessons about compassion and trusting God.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the book can't wait to start the second book...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It had me from the start! I can't wait to continue the series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great series about life post civil war! The title of one books says it all---The color of your skin is not the color of your heart
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a wonderful story! It's one of those books that I could recommend to my mother, my teenaged grandchildren and even to my husband. Through the eyes and story telling of one character, you come to see and feel the drama and conflict of both girls' story. I will certainly buy the next in the series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No ending. Left you hanging but not in a good way. Will not read more from this writer
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story with no ending. Why did you leave us hanging that way? I was enjoying it so much...and then...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read all four books and enjoyed each one so much. Wonderfully written!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm glad this book was a free e-book because I would have felt cheated had I paid for it. The beginning was fairly good, enough so I wanted to see what happened to the characters, but it was poorly written. For example, it is hard to imagine a 15 year old slave girl in the old south having a conversation using the word guttersnipe.