Praise

"Clarke brings to life a whole neighborhood of vivid personalities, writing blacks back into Georgetown's history."

USA Today

"A genuine masterpiece…full of grace and beauty and profound insights… River, Cross My Heart bears traces of Eudora Wealty's charm and Toni Morrison's passion."

Baltimore Sun

"A warm, graceful first novel with a host of well-drawn and appealing characters… Clarke brings an affectionate eye and beautifully restrained prose to her fictional archaeology."

San Francisco Chronicle

"Clarke is a writer to watch."

Essence

"A sweet read...sweet like homemade ice cream from a hand-cranked machine, and just as rich."

— Holly Bass, Washington Post Book World

"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 warm, graceful first novel...with a host of well-drawn and appealing characters...Clarke brings an affectionate eye and beautifully restrained prose to her fictional archaeology."

— John Perry, San Francisco Chronicle

"Seldom do I find a novel that I can recommend to everyone....I'm delighted to say that River, Cross My Heart fills the bill."

— Sandra Scofield, Chicago Tribune

"A compelling novel...Clarke brings to life a whole neighborhood of vivid personalities."

— Denise Kersten, USA Today

"A striking first novel....Clarke is a writer to watch, both for her brilliant use of language and her ambition in terms of subject. In her able hands, the Bynums are a family you won't soon forget."

— Martha Southgate, Essence

"An accomplished first novel....The story of Johnnie Mae's eventual triumph--and of a city's grudging coming to terms with the hopes and dreams she typifies--flows quietly but carves deep channels in the reader's mind."

— Walter Kirn, Time

"Compelling....At the same time that Clarke paints a picture of a life limited by segregation, she also provides a portrait of the rich relationships, familial and otherwise, that enrich the community from which the Bynums draw strength.... The narrative is given depth by its anatomy of a community tangibly and viscerally brought alive."

— Jennifer Veech, Washington Times

"This River is powerful....Clarke's prose vibrates with the poetic authority of Toni Morrison."

— V. R. Peterson, People