I recently listened to The Girl Who Fell from the Sky, a first novel by Heidi W. Durrow. I was intrigued by this book for several reasons. Having just re-read Snow Falling on Cedars as part of KPL’s Reading Together program this year, I was interested since one theme in this book is the treatment of minorities in our society; in this case the protagonist is the daughter of an African-American G.I. and a white Danish mother. I am also a big fan of Barbara Kingsolver, and not only was this book cited somewhere as being one a Kingsolver fan would enjoy, but it was the winer of the Bellwether Prize for Fiction in 2008 AND Snow Falling on Cedars was a previous winner. The Bellwether is a financial prize established by Barbara Kingsolver, herself an author who writes “socially responsible” fiction, and encourages authors with this prize who do the same.
“Fiction has a unique capacity to bring difficult issues to a broad readership on a personal level, creating empathy in a reader’s heart for the theoretical stranger. Its capacity for invoking moral and social responsibility is enormous. Throughout history, every movement toward a more peaceful and humane world has begun with those who imagined the possibilities. The Bellwether Prize seeks to support the imagination of humane possibilities.”
—Barbara Kingsolver, founder
This touching book begins with tragic circumstances, and successfully explores a number of large themes. The story is revealed in the “voices” from several different characters, which I have always appreciated in Kingsolver’s books and which lent itself perfectly to an excellent audio version.
I am still thinking about this book although I finished it a couple of weeks ago. That’s always a good sign.
The Girl Who Fell from the Sky