I picked up The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi Durrow as an impulse buy. The ebook was $1.99 on Amazon, it had some good reviews underneath it, and I figured it was a worth a shot. I am so glad I took the gamble as this is such a great book that I immediately started recommending to my friends after finishing it.
The story is about Rachel primarily, but it is also about Jamie who becomes Brick by the end.
Rachel is half Danish and half black and must live with her grandmother in Portland, OR after an event that happens in Rachel's life when she was living in Chicago. The event is the main mystery of the book, so I will not spoil what happened. All we know is Rachel now lives with her black grandmother in a black neighborhood, her father has gone back on assignment, and her mother and brothers are gone.
A large portion of the book is not only about Rachel's past, but about how Rachel now must fit in a primarily black community as she is light skinned and bright eyed. We follow Rachel throughout her life from early childhood into adulthood as she struggles with not quite fitting into either of the two communities- the white community, where she is too dark, and the black community, where she is too white. Men find her attractive, as she has developed early, and exotic, which doesn't help with the women within each community.
As stated, it is also the story of Jamie aka Brick, who is the sole witness to the event that happened in Rachel's life. His mother is a drug using prostitute of sorts and is absent in Jamie's life. He runs away one day, as a young child in search of Rachel. He only knows she is in Portland, but can only afford a bus ticket half way there. We follow his life as a homeless child growing up on the streets who is used by two other homeless people to make money off of him. Will he find Rachel and be able to tell her what happened? Hint: yes!
The story is told through the eyes of many of the characters, primarily Rachel's, who's narration changes the older she gets. I really appreciated this as most authors don't bother to change sentence structure or tone as the person ages. Durrow did this for Rachel and Brick.
We also get glimpses into the event through the eyes of Rachel's mother, who kept a journal which is found by her neighbor and friend. Even though we get glimpses of the event and know what happened, the bigger question is why did this event happen and we are left in the dark until the very end of the book.
The characters are well developed and grow throughout the book. The writing is top notch too. Durrow definitely drew from her own life and that shows throughout the book, especially within the tension of not fitting into one culture. My copy had an interview with her, where she opens up about some of her life.
I really enjoyed this one and would highly recommend it. It might get dusty a few times in the room, but it is definitely worth the read. I gave this one 4 stars.
Here is your Amazon link- The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi Durrow