You know those books that just grip you from the beginning and don’t allow you to do anything else until you’re done reading it? The Girl That Fell From The Sky was undoubtedly one of those types of books. The book was both extremely compelling and unbelievably heartbreaking all at once.
The book, written by Heidi Durrow, is a story centered around a horrific tragedy: a helpless mother, Nella and her three children that shockingly fall off the ledge of a high-rise in Chicago. The only remaining survivor, Rachel, is left in the world alone and forced to move in with her grandmother (who she detests) and her aunt (who she admires). In addition to being the “new girl,” Rachel being mixed-skin evoked confusion with her fellow classmates and at times blatant acts of racism.
The story is told from four different view points: Rachel, Nella, Nella’s boss/Super for her living situation and “Brick,” the boy who saw the tragedy land right on his doorstep (literally) and in front of his eyes. Each of the character’s take you through their own life experiences before the tragedy occurred and of course, how it affected them following the event. There were themes of alcoholism and drug abuse, racism and violence weaved throughout the story, told through the eyes of the different point of views.
While the story begins in an unbearably sad tone, the story concludes with a sense of hope and closure. The Girl That Fell From The Sky sucks you in immediately with readers longing to know, throughout the novel, why the family fell off the ledge? Who orchestrated it? If Nella did it, what could have been so bad that a mother would be willing to kill her entire family? The story demonstrates that regardless of where you’re from, your ethnicity and skin tone play a larger role than they should even in the 1980’s when you’d think racism against a mixed-colored girl would be far non-existent.
I suggest reading this story – preferably begin reading at 10am and don’t move until you’re completed probably around dinner time. Trust me, you won’t forget reading this book.