The Girl Who Fell From the Sky

The Girl Who Fell From the Sky

A Novel

Book - 2010
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Rachel, the daughter of a Danish mother and a black G.I., becomes the sole survivor of a family tragedy after a fateful morning on their Chicago rooftop.

Forced to move to a new city, with her strict African American grandmother as her guardian, Rachel is thrust for the first time into a mostly black community, where her light brown skin, blue eyes, and beauty bring a constant stream of attention her way. It's there, as she grows up and tries to swallow her grief, that she comes to understand how the mystery and tragedy of her mother might be connected to her own uncertain identity.

This searing and heartwrenching portrait of a young biracial girl dealing with society's ideas of race and class is the winner of the Bellwether Prize for best fiction manuscript addressing issues of social justice.

Publisher: Chapel Hill, NC : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2010.
ISBN: 9781565126800
Branch Call Number: FICTION DUR
Characteristics: 264 p.

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Chapel_Hill_KenMc Dec 20, 2014

This one didn't work for me--surprising, since it won Barbara Kingsolver's Bellwether Prize, which is generally a good recommendation. I found the writing disjointed and flat, and the construction of the plot heavy-handed.

b
blolo
Dec 30, 2013

an interesting perspective and a poignant story. It isn't just about being a biracial child, but it is also a coming of age novel, a story about family, a tragedy... and all with a bit of a heartwarming element.

c
cvonbehren
Dec 16, 2012

I couldn't put it down! An interesting exploration of race and culture with a mystery.

h
hmcgivney
Dec 04, 2012

It was interesting to read and think about the aftermath of a tragedy; so often books end with tragedy rather than begin with one. I would have liked to know more. The story is written from Rachel's perspective as a child and teenager, so it doesn't seem like there's a lot of understanding. The story ends just as Rachel seems to be making sense of what happened and who she is - just as she's getting some peace in her life. I guess I want more resolution, to know what happens to her as she becomes an adult with an adult's understanding.

m
mackenziepshaw
Jul 26, 2012

This was a wonderful book! Loved the mystery and intrigue of the story-line. A very innocent, yet racially entangled young girl as the character. It unfolds beautifully and gives the reader something more to take away unlike any old novel.

k
katbehrend
Jul 19, 2012

Durrow's novel explored the life of a young, mixed-race, bi-cultural girl who survived an event that took the life of her mom and two siblings. The only survivor, she moved in to her grandmother's house, navigating new cultures and customs, and finding her way in a new place. Reading this book was like walking in the dark and peering into houses whose lights were on, but whose curtains were drawn and only slightly parted. Details emerged slowly and effortfully, and I never felt like I was fully entering the house of the story.

d
debs
Aug 24, 2011

An interesting twist on a familiar theme. Biracial at its best.

j
JacquelineAugust
Jul 01, 2011

Heidi Durrow's book is amazing! Reading "The Girl Who Fell From The Sky" helped me better understand my own mixed race experience. Everyone should read this book, it is truly great! Not only should you check it out from the library, you should buy a copy of your own. READ READ READ!

debwalker Mar 04, 2011

Pennie Clark Ianniciello, Costco's book buyer, has chosen The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow as her pick of the month for March 2011.

From the moment I first saw the title, I knew I had to read Heidi W. Durrow's The Girl Who Fell from the Sky. It begged so many questions: Who is this girl? How did she come to fall from the sky (of all places)? And what's going to happen to her now?

"Durrow had me spellbound from the start. Her debut novel tells the believable story of Rachel, a girl with brown skin and blue eyes. She's forced to make sense of both what's been left behind and what lies ahead.

"Trapped between races--a place not so unlike the no man's land between heaven and earth--Rachel struggles to understand relationships and figure out where she fits in. I see Rachel as a person who doesn't want to be forced into convenient categories. She just wants to be who she is. Like so many of us, she is just looking for a soft place to land."

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Kathryn17
Oct 25, 2016

Kathryn17 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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