african american · book review · fiction

The Girl Who Fell From The Sky By Heidi Durrow

The Girl Who Fell From The Sky

Written by Heidi W. Durrow

Published in 2010 by ALGONQUIN books

this photo taken from heidiwdurrow.com  the authors website
this photo taken from heidiwdurrow.com the authors website

I came across this book at a local goodwill. I picked it up because the cover was interesting and I bought it because the synopsis on the back although short was intriguing. The story centers on Rachel the daughter of a Danish mother and black father growing up in the early 80’s in the aftermath of a family tragedy. The story is told in both present and past tense going between 3 different narrators including Rachel, her mother’s former boss and a young boy who witnesses the tragedy. The story begins with Rachel going to live with her father’s mother after she is the sole survivor of an accident. This accident takes the lives of her mother, brother and sister. The details of the accident unfold slowly throughout the book and, there is a twist regarding it that I didn’t see coming. The synopsis on the back of the book says this is about a girl who has to cope with society’s ideas of race and class in the face of a family tragedy. In my opinion it is much more than that. This is ultimately about the ideas that surround race. Ideas we have about our own race and the ideas other people have about our race and how we react to those ideas. In the end you find out that the tragedy in this book is a direct result of people’s ideas about race. I don’t know if the fact that I am the child of a white mother and black father is why I connected with this book I just know I did connect.

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