Felicity's Reviews > The Girl Who Fell from the Sky

The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow
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** spoiler alert ** Even though I'm an historian who works on infanticide, I had no idea what this book was about when I picked it up. Sorry for the spoiler, for those of you who ignored the spoiler warning. Apparently, it's based on a true story...I'd be interested in more details. Is this Durrow's life story? (Durrow, like the novel's main character Rachel, is the daughter of a white Danish and an African-American father, a member of the U.S. airforce.)

The book explores with sensitivity very interesting issues about being the product of not just a mixed-race family, not very different national backgrounds. In my opinion, it doesn't do so well when exploring the question of how we reconcile ourselves with parents who hurl themselves and their children off a roof. Durrow explores the reasons for Nella's choice with sensitivity, but she seems to always skirt around the edges of the issue. Nella murdered her children. Although we might be able to empathize with or understand the reasons that she did so (and that is certainly what Durrow encourages us to do), Nella is never really held to account for her decision (probably because she's dead). Nor, for that matter, is Rachel's father held to account for the decisions that he makes. Rachel reconciles in her own way with the choices of both her parents, but as readers, I think, we're left a little wanting.
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Vicki I just finished this book and you described how I feel perfectly. I expected a little more than what I got when I walked away from it.


The CurvyJones Exactly. I feel like I still don't know what happened.


Danise Elijah Nella kills her children and herself because she can't face the lifetime of harm racism will bring to them. Rachel is filled with a sense of foreboding, as if she was not meant to remain in this world, in a racist society or in a culture that she feels is not completely hers. It is her story to interpret and her choice is to accept her gifts and her pain and to live.


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