Book Concierge's Reviews > The Girl Who Fell from the Sky

The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow
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really liked it
bookshelves: audio, book-club, coming-of-age, concierge, debut, library, oregon, racism, strong-women, literary-fiction

Audiobook performed by Karen Murray, Emily Bauer, and Kathleen McInerney

From the book jacket: 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 a Chicago rooftop. Forced to move to a new city with her African-American grandmother as her guardian, Rachel is thrust for the first time into a mostly black community, where her light brown skin, startling blue eyes, and beauty bring a constant stream of attention her way.

My reactions
I found the book in turns horrifying, moving, disturbing, riveting, and confusing. The story moves back and forth in time, and with multiple narrators. The reader certainly gets the sense of Rachel’s confusion – about her identity, about her parentage, about what actually happened, about who and what she’s supposed to be now.

I was moved by Rachel’s predicament. And empathized with her struggles to come to terms with what had happened to her, and to those she loved. The ramifications of one desperate act rippled outward to affect not only Rachel, but her grandmother and the witnesses to the event. All of them were somehow traumatized by that one afternoon on the roof – whether directly involved or not.

While the attention is focused on Rachel, some of the supporting characters are equally moving; Rachel’s grandmother, Roger, and Brick are particularly important and I really appreciated the complexity of their characters as written. All told, this is a great debut, and I look forward to reading future works by Durrow.

The audio book was capably performed by a trio of talented artists: Karen Murray, Emily Bauer and Kathleen McInerney. The opening of the audio DID tell which of these artists voiced which sections, but I failed to write it down before returning it to the library. I can tell you that one voiced Rachel, one voiced her mother Nella, and the third covered the narration and all other characters. Given the structure of the novel, using different narrators was very effective in helping to keep this listener/reader on track.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
January 1, 2018 – Finished Reading
January 10, 2018 – Shelved
January 10, 2018 – Shelved as: audio
January 10, 2018 – Shelved as: book-club
January 10, 2018 – Shelved as: coming-of-age
January 10, 2018 – Shelved as: concierge
January 10, 2018 – Shelved as: debut
January 10, 2018 – Shelved as: library
January 10, 2018 – Shelved as: oregon
January 10, 2018 – Shelved as: racism
January 10, 2018 – Shelved as: strong-women
January 10, 2018 – Shelved as: literary-fiction

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