Girl Who Fell from the Sky, The
Durrow, Heidi W
The daughter of a Danish mother and a black G.I., Rachel Morse was eventually going to have to confront her biracial parentage. But as the sole survivor of a family tragedy, she has her work cut out for her. Not only must she embrace a new life with her African American grandmother, but establish her identity in a world that requires her to be black or white.
Told from multiple perspectives, this is a story of broken dreams, race and class, and the universal quest for identity. Winner of the Bellwether Prize.
Comments from Groups
Wow - a book that everyone enjoyed. Moving, a tale of growing up in a similar time to our group but coping with issues of racial identity. Quite beautifully written, easy to read. Auckland 285
Generally everyone enjoyed this book. Beautifully structured. Some discussion as to whether it was about racial discrimination and / or identity. Wellington 104
Thought provoking issues in a well written book. Discussion around race, class, aspirations and personal identity. Mangaweka 001
A beautiful, sad and poetic book. Enjoyed by most although some found it too sad to enjoy. An interesting and fiery discussion on difficult topics of infanticide, racial identity etc Christchurch 152
We read this book with interest, but afterwards found it easy to forget. The beginning had a shocking impact that was not sustained. Engagement with the experience of the characters was generally low. The journey to identity for the main character felt under developed. However our group lacks the cultural diversity to appreciate fully the depth of the issues.
Characterisation excellent. A disturbing story unveiled cleverly.
We enjoyed reading the book - easy to read, however we were all a bit disappointed with the ending...it just sort of fizzled out.
Those who read it enjoyed it.
Created a good discussion. While story was not what we expected, we felt it was cleverly written and had interesting points about colour - Rachel neither black nor white and was expected to choose whether she was black or white. Because of the way the book was written it took us a while to piece everything together. An interesting read.
A taxing story beautifully executed. Excellent characterisation. We all loved this despite the challenging storyline.
Most enjoyed this thought-provoking book however some felt it was a slightly "light" look at such a serious subject.
Our group loved this book. We all found it an effortless and compelling read, well constructed and a 'page turner' despite its difficult subject matter. Heidi Darrow writes beautifully and succinctly - she really knows how to make language work. The book has powerful themes related to coming of age and finding one's place in the world, especially challenging when race and colour are already defining factors. The only negative comment from our group was from members who felt the ending was abrupt and left them wanting to read more. Overall though, a very satisfying read.
Generally our group found this book dissatisfying. It wasn't predictable and the themes and ideas were interesting and varied; abandonment, interracial marriage, identity, death...but we felt they could have been developed and explored in more depth. One comment was that it read like a first draft.
Generated good discussion about racial identity/perception. Some found it difficult to believe the mother's actions.