Title: The Girl Who Fell From the Sky
Author: Heidi W. Durrow
Publication Information: Algonquin Books. 2011. 272 pages.
Book Source: I read this book because the story sounded intriguing especially as it is loosely based on an actual event.
Favorite Quote: "You realize you'd do anything for them. Anything for them to be okay."
The Girl Who Fell From the Sky is a book loosely based in reality. It is the story of Rachel, who survives a horrific incident in which her mother and her siblings perish. She is the sole survivor. The central theme of the book is biracialism and raising biracial children. Rachel is the daughter of an African American soldier and a Danish mother. After her mother's death, she is raised by her strict African American grandmother. The book is about Rachel's struggles with her grief, her identity, prejudice, and her gradual understanding of her mother's struggles.
The style and structure of the book are difficult to maneuver. The story is told from different perspectives. Chapters move between characters and between different points in time. This movement keeps the book from coming together as a cohesive whole. There are only images and glimpses into each character and their perspective on that fateful day.
The story's message, however, is a powerful one. We are not defined by our race. We should be defined by our relationships and our actions. Yet, people still judge based on how someone looks. We, as a community, still need these messages as a reminder to fight prejudice of all kinds. Reminders to not behave in such a manner and reminders of the sometimes catastrophic effects of prejudice.