the girl who fell from the sky

As I’ve mentioned innumerable times before, I love audiobooks.  I would say I do at least half of my “reading” through audiobooks.  The main advantage of an audiobook, of course, is that I can listen while I do other things – housework, driving, etc. The tricky thing with them is that they’re not as readily available as books in print — and because of how expensive they are to buy, I’m dependent on the offerings of the library.  But this can be advantageous as well, for a limited selection often leads me to take a chance on a book I might not have come across otherwise.

Thus was the case with The Girl Who Fell From the Sky, by Heidi Durrow.  I walked into this one entirely blindly; I’d heard nothing about it before and was not familiar with the author, but the basic description intrigued me.  It turned out to be a beautifully written – and narrated – story, one I’m certainly glad crossed my path.

Rachel is 11 when she becomes “the new girl,” the girl who goes to live with her grandmother, the girl without the mother or brother or baby sister, the girl with the dark skin and blue eyes who doesn’t exactly know what it is to be black (or white, either).  Rachel tells us her story as she tries to become accustomed to her new home and life, as she tries to understand who she is now – and who her grandmother thinks she should be.  But intermingled with the chapters told by Rachel are chapters from other characters’ points of view — characters who each have a piece of Rachel’s story as well, pieces that she doesn’t know.  These chapters round out the story nicely, offering a depth to Rachel’s journey.

Durrow gives Rachel an astonishingly clear voice – sad, contemplative, yet determined and, at times, hopeful.  This voice carries us through her story, her ups and downs, as she goes through the process of trying to find her place in the world – the happy medium between the girl she was and the “new girl” she had to become.  The result is a lovely, moving novel.


~ by Molly on February 12, 2011.

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