Stand the Storm

Stand the Storm

by Breena Clarke

Paperback(Reprint)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316007054
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 06/24/2009
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 594,589
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

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.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Clarke's sensitivity and her lyrical, earthy narration bring a freshness to the somber subject matter." —-Kirkus Starred Review

Customer Reviews

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Stand the Storm 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
coolpinkone on LibraryThing 29 days ago
I want to say that the story of Annie, Gabriel, Ellen, and Mary is a powerful epic story. I really thought the plot and theme of this book was outstanding. I also liked the diverse and complicated characters. I was totally immersed in the sewing, knitting, quilting, tailoring and needlepoint. There was quite a bit of that in the book. For me it was enthralling. This is a very important and rich story. Therefore I recommend the book for anyone.I did struggle with the harshly depicted life of a slaves. I know it is a harsh and brutal reality, but it was hard for me to read. The sexual abuse, rape and physical abuse was hard for me to digest and wrap the brain around. More so than other books that I have read on the subject. It was peppered in throughout the story. It did shape and define the characters actions. It was warranted and yet it was harsh. Even though it was rough, I do find that it added a very brave voice to the history of our Country. I thank Breena Clark for that.Slave trader, slave seller, slave catcher, master, free coloreds, the "n" word (which isn't coming out of my mouth or off my keyboard) and many of the terms and practices involved with the enslavement and traffic-ing of human beings is utterly horrific and were everyday terms in this story. And yet here we have a story with a mother, a son, grandchildren, a community, and a nation struggling in a eruptive time that serves to take us to a time not so long ago where we can reflect, remember and broaden our understanding.At times I felt the writing was too academic for the story. While I understood the writing, sometimes it seemed wordy. There were also many moments of powerful prose. For me the prose and academic writing didn't mix well. I am not sure if that makes sense. I tended to enjoy the "prose type" parts more than some of the thickly worded sentences. The material for me was heavy enough. This didn't not occur to me throughout the whole book, just towards the latter part. There were a couple of character issues for me that distracted from what I wanted from the story. I think it might add to the story for others.I was lucky enough to get a copy of the book to review, and I bought a copy of the audio. I read the first half and listened to the other half. I HIGHLY recommend the audio. It is read beautifully, and the rich texture of the voice drove the story home a bit more for me.
spvaughan on LibraryThing 29 days ago
This is the story of Sewing Annie who is put under the tutelage of Knitting Annie to learn her skills on the Ridley Plantation. When Knitting Annie dies, Sewing Annie takes up the the black smith by whom she has a boy, Gabriel, and a girl, Ellen. By teaching them her skills, she hopes to save her children from the fields. At 10, Gabriel is sent to Washington DC to apprentice to a tailor. The tailor moves on after selling the shop to the Master. The Master's nephew is put in charge of the store with Gabriel, Sewing Annie, and Ellen running the business.This is the story of the strength and love of family from before and through the Civil War and after. It is heartwarming and gut wrenching and well worth the read.The rhythm of the language threw me for a bit from time to time but did not stop me wanting to find out what would happen to this family.I could feel most of the characters and understand their motivations and enjoyed their growth. The novel is portal into time period well known but from a different vantage. It is so well worth the read.
nktk on LibraryThing 29 days ago
Like her wonderful book River, Cross My Heart (Oprah's Book Club), Breena Clarke¿s new novel, Stand the Storm, is about the struggles of slavery. The story is set in Georgetown. The book¿s main character, Sewing Annie Coats, is a slave working for the Ridley plantation. Before her, Knitting Annie watched over her and taught her everything she knew about sewing. Her talent for sewing kept Annie from having to work in the fields. After falling in love, Annie had two children, Gabriel and Ellen. Annie taught them everything she knew about sewing and soon they were both adept at the task. At the age of ten, Gabriel was sold to a tailor, Abraham Pearl. Soon Annie begins to work with Gabriel and they continue to sew in order to buy their freedom. Along the way, they meet a runaway slave named Mary and help her. Mary and Gabriel fall in love and they get married. They also begin to help other slaves escape to freedom. But, when they think they have bought their freedom, they discover that Jonathon Ridley has been cheating them and others. They continue to struggle through this oppressive time until freedom becomes a reality. Breena Clarke¿s writing is like poetry. The images she creates through her expressive and detailed phrasings and word uses make the reader feel the characters¿ pain and joy. After buying his family¿s freedom, Gabriel returns to them, and instead of speaking, he begins to sing, and soon they all join him in expressing how they feel at that moment. It is moments like this that make this story so powerful. Breena makes you feel the family¿s faith and hope. What Mary went through when she was caught for running away will stay with me for some time. I think you will feel the same. This is a powerful and heartfelt novel that you should add to your reading list.
bookwormbridget on LibraryThing 29 days ago
A delight to read. The language is enthralling and the characters plausible. African American slavery and the dream of freedom - what more can you say? Read it.
quzy on LibraryThing 29 days ago
"Even though former slaves Annie Coats and her son Gabriel have managed to buy their freedom, their lives are still marked by constant struggle and sacrifice..."The story you walk into when you open Stand the Storm is simply wonderful. Breena Clarke's writing is like bits of poetry that produce amazing images when read out loud. From the first few sentences of the book " There are endless stitches to count. Handwork promotes calculation. Gabriel watched his mother pause in her knitting to rest her fingers for the briefest moment - a pause most observers wouldn't notice..." I wanted to see what Gabriel's mother was working on. I learned along the way that Sewing Annie, Gabriel's mother, was working on much more than her knitting - she was working on a life of freedom & dignity for herself and family.Stand the Storm follows Sewing Annie from her humble beginnings on the plantation after her "mam was sold south" when she was assigned to learn to knit & sew on the Ridley Plantation under the watchful eye of "Knitting Annie" to her eventual life as a free woman. We are there when she falls in love, gives birth and fights for the rights every human being should be entitled to. We become part of her family and watch her son & daughter grow up and become strong individuals in their own right. We see how the desire for freedom is rarely spoken in words and how dangerous even the thought can be. We see how their experiences as slaves and even as 'freed slaves' shape their thoughts and actions. We go to war for them as well as with them when the Civil War begins and the Union & Confederacy fight.This novel is unusual in that it portrays the Coatses not as slaves working out in the fields, but skilled craftsmen. And because of this the Coatses become integrated in the community and the story allows us to take a long look at slavery from the perspective of their own experiences as they try and live in harmony with those around them.I loved the book! The characters were alive and worth the time you spend with them! Stand the Storm would be a great book club read - some great discussion topics, such as slavery, the Civil War, the underground railroad... read it- you won't be disappointed!
Anonymous 7 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She sighed. "Willowpaw" ,she mewed " l am going to stay with Ethereal. You and the kits go back to EmberClan.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Electrickit? She mewed are you here?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
great look at an old story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
spv More than 1 year ago
This is the story of Sewing Annie who is put under the tutelage of Knitting Annie to learn her skills on the Ridley Plantation. When Knitting Annie dies, Sewing Annie takes up the the black smith by whom she has a boy, Gabriel, and a girl, Ellen. By teaching them her skills, she hopes to save her children from the fields. At 10, Gabriel is sent to Washington DC to apprentice to a tailor. The tailor moves on after selling the shop to the Master. The Master's nephew is put in charge of the store with Gabriel, Sewing Annie, and Ellen running the business. This is the story of the strength and love of family from before and through the Civil War and after. It is heartwarming and gut wrenching and well worth the read. The rhythm of the language threw me for a bit from time to time but did not stop me wanting to find out what would happen to this family. I could feel most of the characters and understand their motivations and enjoyed their growth. The novel is portal into time period well known but from a different vantage. It is so well worth the read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OOSABookClub More than 1 year ago
STAND THE STORM by Breena Clarke tells the story of slaves Annie, aka Sewing Annie, and her son Gabriel Coats. Gabriel was groomed by his mother to help sew, weave, knit and dye cloth. Gabriel exhibited a genuine aptitude for needlework. Master Ridley, of the Ridley Plantation, decided to hire ten-year-old Gabriel out to the local tailor. Eventually Master Ridley devises a business plan to open up his own business in tailoring. Any extra business that Gabriel would get on his own would be for his own profit. Profits he intended on buying his and his family's freedom. Gabriel does earn their freedom, making uniforms for soldiers. Gabriel falls in love with a runaway slave, Mary. They eventually get married and have children of their own. Unbeknownst to Gabriel and Mary, just because they are free does not necessarily mean that their children will be. STAND THE STORM is the story about the individual struggles of the "free" slaves during the time of the Civil War. I found this story to be difficult to read because it moved so slowly. Briefly, early on, the story seemed to pick up...only to slack right back off again. It was hard to get attached to the characters. I usually enjoy historical fiction but this story was just adequate. Reviewed by: LeonaR 2.5 stars
Guest More than 1 year ago
reena Clarke brings to life the fictional story of Sewing Annie Coats and her son, Gabriel. Annie taught her son how to sew to keep him from the harsh work in the fields. Stand the Storm tells their struggle to purchase their freedom. Can a former slave ever truly be free? This strong, faithful family faces the fear of re-enslavement repeatedly. Clarke weaves threads of history, romance, and drama together to skillfully form a tapestry on which the reader will view the Civil War and slavery in a way they have never before experienced. Stand the Storm will stay with you long after you read the last word. Stand the Storm is a powerful story this is a must-read book.