Monday, January 2, 2012

Review: The Girl who Fell from the Sky by Heidi W Durrow



Publisher: Algonquin Books

Pages: 272
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 3.5/5



Rachel is the girl who fell from the sky and survived. When tragedy strikes her family, Rachel is the only survivor- her mother, brother and sister pass away and Rachel’s life forever changes. Her father is in the military and constantly traveling, and unable to care for Rachel. After spending weeks in the hospital, unconscious, Rachel wakes up and is forced to live with her grandmother. The story of Rachel’s shattered life begins, a ten year old girl lost in a world where she doesn’t know where she belongs. Born to a Danish mother and Black father, her blue eyes and light brown skin leaves her feeling like an outsider. Rachel feels alienated, unable to fit into one category and shunned by both. While living in Europe, being bi-racial wasn’t anything that she was made to focus on, however Portland is a different world. Rachel leans on her grandmother and Aunt Loretta; these two women help her through her sorrow and pain. This novel deals with grief, despair, hope and perseverance. Rachel is a little girl trying to face a scary world and she can only bottle up her emotions for so long.

The Girl Who Fell from the Sky is told in narratives by several different characters. The mysterious accident leaves readers wondering what happened. Were Nella and the children pushed, or did Nella convince them to leap off the rooftop? If she did convince her children to plummet to their death, what would motivate her to do something like this. Brick, a young boy, left alone the majority of the day witnesses the accident and is forever changed. Laronne, the supervisor of the community college library finds Nella’s diaries, and introduces readers to her thoughts. Brick and Rachel's father Roger meet in the hospital and bond over Rachel. The novel is complicated by many narratives and at times felt disjointed. The pacing is very slow and told in semi-chronological order.

I really wanted to love this book, and had high expectation but it fell a little flat for me. Apart from the disjointed narrative and the slow pacing, I never felt that the characters developed very much. I felt like I was always questioning what was going on within the story. The characters continually felt distant. The story had a lot of potential but I couldn’t keep myself interested in the story. I don’t think this book is for everyone, and you shouldn’t expect too much from all the rave reviews. The subject matter was very interesting but overall it was a difficult read for me. I love books that deal with identity issues, but this one was not for me.

2 comments:

  1. bluestockingbb @ http://www.mrsqbookadd... - Review: The Girl who F... 1 week ago · 0 replies · +1 points
    I rather liked it. But then that may have been because I have had similar experience to Rachel. Too bad that you didn't like it.
    My recent post Death Comes to Pemberly

    diaryofaneccentric @ http://www.mrsqbookadd... - Review: The Girl who F... 1 week ago · 0 replies · +1 points
    I've had this book on my shelf for awhile. It sounds really good but the slow pace and disjointed narrative make me want to leave it on the shelf.
    My recent post The Girl’s Best Books of 2011

    Beth(bookaholicmom) @ http://www.mrsqbookadd... - Review: The Girl who F... 1 week ago · 0 replies · 0 points
    I had this on my wish list but then saw quite a few mediocre reviews for it and took it off. It looks like I made the right call. Sorry you didn't enjoy this one.

    Jenny @ http://www.mrsqbookadd... - Review: The Girl who F... 1 week ago · 0 replies · 0 points
    Oh no I'm disappointed! I love books about identity issues as well, especially about being biracial. and I had hoped to read this one soon. I don't even own it yet, though, so I guess I won't worry about it for now!
    My recent post Little Princes

    JP @ Elle Lit @ http://www.mrsqbookadd... - Review: The Girl who F... 1 week ago · 0 replies · 0 points
    Sad to see this one didn't work for you. I've seen it around a bit and nearly picked it up at Barnes and Noble, but I think I'll hold off for a little while. Thanks for the honest review!
    My recent post Very Merry Month of Giveaways: Winners!


    Mesa @ http://www.mrsqbookadd... - Review: The Girl who F... 1 week ago · 0 replies · 0 points
    This one looks good, and I'm glad you liked it even though you didn't love it. Great review!


    bermudaonion @ http://www.mrsqbookadd... - Review: The Girl who F... 1 week ago · 0 replies · +1 points
    The plot of the book sounds fascinating. I'm sorry to see the execution didn't wow you.

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  2. I am almost finished ths book and have loved it from the first sentence. I highly recommend it.

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