I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.
THE GIRL WHO FELL FROM THE SKY tells the story of Rachel, the daughter of a Danish mother and black G.I. who is the sole survivor of a family tragedy that results in the death of her little brother and sister and her mother. Rachel moves in with her strict African-American grandmother and must learn to navigate her way through the new complexities of 1980s racial identity and puberty while dealing with her own grief.
This is a powerful book that was very difficult to put down. Durrow is slow to unfold Rachel's story and the reader never really discovers the truth of the family tragedy until the end of the book. The story is told from several points of view: Rachel, a boy named Brick who witnessed part of the tragedy, Rachel's father Roger, Rachel's mother Nella and Nella's boss Varonne. Each one offers a different perspective on events. While Rachel's struggle to make sense of what happened to her family is central to the story, it is also a story of identity and race and the pain and struggle to find where one belongs in the world. It is both painful and moving to read.
BOTTOM LINE: Highly recommended. The story is so moving and so sad. Each individual's part of the story is compelling and heart-breaking. You'll be thinking about this one long after you put it down.