The Girl Who Fell From the Sky


Bibliographic Information 

Audiobook $29.95
Paperback $9.34
Hardback $8.00
Kindle $8.87
Associated ISBNs 9781565126800
9781616200152 — Paperback
9781410427045 — Hardcover
9781851687459 — Paperback
9781448790708 — Glued Binding

Rating (VOYA)

5Q, 3.5P

This is a 5Q because it is quite amazingly written, in a broken narative in several characters points of view.

It’s a 3.5 because I think that the material is hard to read, and that it will become more appealing over the next few years given the current state of race relations in the States.

Readers Annotation

She fell. Now she must learn how to live.


Follow the story of the girl who fell from the sky. Told through five different points of view centered around the tragedy of the family who fell from the sky.

Rachel has just moved in with her Grandmother in Seattle after her family fell off the roof of their apartment in Chicago. She is a mixed race girl, coming from a black serviceman and a white Danish girl. She must learn to negotiate a world where people are defined by the color of their skin, while learning to live with her Grandmother and aunt. Her Grandmother is a proud black woman, rich in faith. Her aunt is a proud black woman struggling after her divorce. Rachel must deal with black girl bullies, boys who will take advantage of her kind nature and the death of her aunt. After she is taken advantage of by a boy her Grandmother sends her to volunteer at the Salvation Army.

Brick is a boy when he sees the boy fall from the sky. He lies to the reporter who asks him if he saw anything and says he saw a man on the roof with the family who fell. He visits the girl who lived in the hospital. He bonds with her father in her hospital room. Her father gives him a message to tell her but she moves to Seattle before he can. He runs away from home to get to her and ends up on the street for a few years until he meets her at the Salvation Army.

Nella has left her husband and moved to Chicago with her boyfriend. She is trying to stay sober. She is finding out that things are different in the States than they are in Europe and that there are things she just can’t say.


This is the single most depressing book I’ve read. Here’s the thing about this book, it is incredibly depressing, and disheartening, but its also kind of beautiful. I cried at the end of it. It was very moving. Its a hard read, not because of language or length, but because the subject matter is so hard to stomach.

This was very effectively written, until the very end you were not sure of all the details pertaining to the Event that set the book in motion. I liked the non-linear construction and the switching points of view. The characters were well rounded. You could feel their pain through the story and could understand their motivations.

I wouldn’t necessarily call this an enjoyable read, I got no joy out of it, but it was a moving read.

This would work very well for its audience. Its an amazing story of actions and consequences, depression, and race. This would be a great book to give someone who would want to understand what it feels like to be displaced in the world.

I think a flaw is that it can be so hard to deal with the emotion that some people may need to walk away from the book, which would be a shame.


Coming-of-age, Literary Fiction, Psychological Fiction


Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin

The Sea by John Banville


This book gives the unique perspective of a mixed race girl who was raised in Europe and then moves to the States. This move shows how different blacks are treated in Europe as compared to the states. This is one of the main struggles of the main character (Rachel).

Book Discussion Questions and Ideas

How does the book portray race?

Why do you think Nella did what she did?

Do you think that Rachel will be able to live a happy life?

Author’s website

Hiedi W. Durrow


PEN/Bellwether Prize



Why I Chose It

I wanted to read this book because it sounded like an interesting premise and a great commentary on race relations both in the United States and comparatively in Europe. It was also a serious Literary novel, and I’ve never really read Literary so I wanted to read one that sounded appealing.

Other Information


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