The Girl Who Fell from the Sky

Heidi W. Durrow, Author . Algonquin $22.95 (264p) ISBN 978-1-56512-680-0

Durrow's debut draws from her own upbringing as the brown-skinned, blue-eyed daughter of a Danish woman and a black G.I. to create Rachel Morse, a young girl with an identical heritage growing up in the early 1980s. After a devastating family tragedy in Chicago with Rachel the only survivor, she goes to live with the paternal grandmother she's never met, in a decidedly black neighborhood in Portland, Ore. Suddenly, at 11, Rachel is in a world that demands her to be either white or black. As she struggles with her grief and the haunting, yet-to-be-revealed truth of the tragedy, her appearance and intelligence place her under constant scrutiny. Laronne, Rachel's deceased mother's employer, and Brick, a young boy who witnessed the tragedy and because of his personal misfortunes is drawn into Rachel's world, help piece together the puzzle of Rachel's family. Taut prose, a controversial conclusion and the thoughtful reflection on racism and racial identity resonate without treading into political or even overtly specific agenda waters, as the story succeeds as both a modern coming-of-age and relevant social commentary. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 10/19/2009
Release date: 02/01/2010
Genre: Fiction
Compact Disc - 6 pages - 978-1-59887-923-0
Hardcover - 313 pages - 978-1-4104-2704-5
Paperback - 278 pages
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-1-85168-745-9
Open Ebook - 300 pages - 978-1-61620-037-4
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