The Girl Who Fell from the Sky
Heidi W. Durrow
Algonquin, 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
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Reviewed by Barbara Lingens
he Girl Who Fell from the Sky
is a very short, unusual story of how a girl, Rachel, learns to deal with a family tragedy in the context of the interracial and bicultural person she is. The daughter of a Danish mother and a black American GI, she must live with her paternal grandmother after surviving the death of her mother, brother and sister.
he problem is, her mother raised her without reference to race, but her grandmother sees her as black. Not only must she try, with little support from the people around her, to deal with her immense grief, she must also learn to understand the different aspirations of her new black friends and neighbors. Although she feels utterly alone, she does have a friend who knows something about her background and the tragedy that befell her. Unfortunately he does not have the means to get to her until years pass, so she is mostly on her own to find out who she is and what kind of a life she would like to lead.
he author writes with great feeling for this young woman, incorporating all aspects of her life - race, culture, memory and family - with assured prose. The novel was a winner of the
2008 Bellwether Prize
for best fiction manuscript addressing issues of social justice, and it is richly deserved.
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