Monday, February 22, 2010

Book Review: "The Girl Who Fell from the Sky" by Heidi Durrow

This is a beautiful book. The story of Rachel, the daughter of a Danish woman and an African-American man who moves to Portland to live with her paternal grandmother following a family tragedy, Heidi Durrow's novel is both moving and hopeful. The story is told from Rachel's viewpoint as well as those of a young neighbor who witnessed the incident and her mother's boss, who tries to figure out why what happened did happen.

Durrow did a terrific job creating two of her main characters, Rachel and Jamie/Brick. I felt completely invested in their struggles and their victories, and truthfully felt like I could have read another 100-200 more pages about both of them. And as the full story of the tragedy unfolded, it really hit me hard. If I had any criticism of the book, it's that I felt as if some of the supporting characters were drawn a little stereotypically, so I really didn't enjoy the times when they were the focus of the story. On the whole, however, this book shows that Heidi Durrow is a writer with tremendous promise, and I look forward to seeing what she creates in the future.

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