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3.5 

The Girl Who Fell from the Sky

By Heidi W. Durrow
The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

"The Girl Who Fell from the Sky can actually fly." —The New York Times Book Review
 

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 heart-wrenching 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.

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215 Reviews

3.5
“Set in the 1980s, the book addresses issues of racism, alcoholism, poverty, grief, and identity among others and yet somehow also does not address any of them pointedly. Individual chapters were interesting, and the writing itself is done well overall but the story telling, or lack thereof is where my real issues lied with this book. Rachel is a biracial girl who is the sole survivor of what is described as a family tragedy. Despite her tragedy, there is a disconnect from her experience, and her growing up (from the age of 10 to 16-17) without knowing how she got there. There is a lack of depth to the characters and story - it almost seems like we are reading about the struggle for struggle's sake, and is that the identity of experience the book is trying to put forward? I am not sure. I think the themes the book was attempting to put forward are important, but they were not fleshed out - the details are vague in most cases or far too detailed in other mundane ways. For one the invisible tether between Rachel and Brick could have been fleshed out better, but it just feel short of telling a real story.”

About Heidi W. Durrow

A graduate of Stanford University, Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, and Yale Law School, Heidi W. Durrow has received grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the American Scandinavian Foundation, and the Lois Roth Endowment and a Fellowship for Emerging Writers from the Jerome Foundation. Her writing has been published in Alaska Quarterly Review, the Literary Review, and others.

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