August Book Discussion: The Girl Who Fell From the Sky

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All right, guys, time for another variation of the discussion! Let’s dive in to The Girl Who Fell From the Sky. This month, I invited Carlia to come along and chat with me about our book, and we had a lively discussion about characters and theme and symbols within the book. It is longer than last month’s, clocking in at just about 30 minutes, and I have to apologize that Carlia’s side of the conversation is not as loud as it could be; I was recording our Skype conversation using my phone. If anyone has any suggestions on how to do this in a more efficient and quality way, please let me know!

Otherwise, enjoy. 🙂

Please leave your comments below! I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this complex, layered book.

Oh, and click here to vote for September’s book. (Wait, September?! Time is flying, guys. I am almost in my third trimester!)

August Book Discussion: The Girl Who Fell From the Sky

4 thoughts on “August Book Discussion: The Girl Who Fell From the Sky

  1. Jeri Wolf says:

    Well, that was fun. Thank you ladies. I found this book to be a quick read. I was drawn in immediately and wanted to discover what had really happened when Jamie saw the bird fly by his window. I have actually discussed this book with a number of patrons at the library as I found that it stuck with me when I was done. I also made notes as I was finished quite early in the month and knew that I wouldn’t remember it when it came time to discuss it here. I’m going to cheat and just copy my notes over 🙂
    – I don’t normally enjoy reading books that are told from so many points of view, but it worked here.
    – Explores racism, both from the point of view of Rachel’s mother (Nella) and Rachel. Nella doesn’t understand how to live in a society that judges her children by their skin colour. Rachel is not used to being judged by her skin colour (not dark enough, nor light enough).
    – Did a good job of exploring Rachel’s struggles in trying to establish who she is now, remembering what happened on the roof, pretending to be a ‘new girl’
    – While I enjoyed Jamie/Brick, I felt his encounter with Rachel was a little too fortuitous. His timing was exceptional though in preventing Rachel from doing something stupid.
    – Listening to you two discuss the book I realized that Jessie (sp?) made no impression on me at all
    – Notes:
    o Rachel trying to stand (and being successful) in the Ferris Wheel was symbolic. Of what you say? Who the hell knows. I bet Jessica knows.
    o Laronne was well done as the outsider trying to understand what happened in the family
    o I didn’t buy the boyfriend’s story at the end (Doug?) (Re-reading my notes, I don’t even remember what his story was)
    o Shows how Nella’s decision changed the lives of so many people (Rachel, Brick, Laronne, Roger, the grandmother)
    – While I enjoyed (not sure that is the right word) the book, I probably would not recommend it to anyone

    1. I am so glad that you enjoyed the discussion. Carlia and I were both nervous about how it was going to go, haha, and if 30 minutes was too long for people!

      I think that Rachel’s standing on the ferris wheel was symbolic of her freeing herself from the constrains of the fall. She was up high and her ear was bothering her (the one physical remnant she has from the fall) and she was going to get away from it and make it stop hurting, damn it, even if it meant putting herself in danger again. That’s my interpretation of it, anyway. 🙂

      (I also make notes, by the way, because I am always worried that I will forget something that I want to talk about.)

  2. Valerie says:

    That was awesome guys! You both sounded as if you did that kind of thing all the time.
    So, first off – didn’t Laronne keep the journals because Grandma said she (and therefore Rachel) didn’t want any of Nella’s stuff? I have looked back but I can’t seem to find the exact spot.
    Overall, I quite enjoyed the book . I am not a huge fan of having a story told from so many different perspectives but in this case, it made each character ‘come alive’ for me. I guess some authors are better are it than others.
    The book had a lot of ‘texture’ – multiple layers. The characters and events were raw and tragic. From Charles’ death, to the jump, to Loretta’s inexplicable demise (really!? she tripped and cut herself on a piece of glass playing tennis and dies from an allergic reaction to antibiotics – did that really happen?) it just seemed that the family went from sad to sadder at each turn. It was only the ending, when Rachel and Brick talk, that you get some sense there might be a way out of the vicious circle that is their life. The book is full of objects of discussion – poverty, race, addiction, fate, death, growing up, the unfairness of life (I may have missed a few). There were no wasted words and no filler descriptive paragraphs. I liked that; she created scenes in your mind using her characters and their thoughts and words.
    So I would also give it four out of five – like Carlia, I felt the ending was too abrupt.
    Good job Jess (and Carlia)!

    1. I couldn’t find the spot where it specifically said about the journals either! So that is still a mystery…

      I agree about the multiple perspectives! Usually I find that books with multiple perspectives like that just don’t have different enough voices, so it always sounds like the same person talking, but Durrow does a good job of really differentiating between the voices of her characters so it was always clear that Brick was different from Rachel was different from Laronne. I really appreciated that as well.

      Rachel’s story is definitely tragic; I wrote something down to the same effect when Aunt Loretta died, like, COULD THINGS JUST GO RIGHT FOR RACHEL FOR ONCE PLEASE?!

      I am glad that you enjoyed the discussion!! 😀

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