"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."
"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