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Extended Audio Sample The Girl Who Fell from the Sky Audiobook, by Heidi W. Durrow Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (10,154 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Heidi W. Durrow Narrator: Karen Murray, Emily Bauer, Kathleen McInerney Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2010 ISBN: 9781598879377
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Rachel, daughter of a Danish mother and a black G.I., is the sole survivor of a tragic family incident. With her strict African-American grandmother as her new guardian, she must come to terms with her past and with her identity in a world that wants to s Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[An] insightful family saga of the toxicity of racism and the forging of the self…Durrow brings piercing authenticity to this provocative tale.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “The author examines familiar issues of racial identity and racism with a subtle and unflinching eye.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Taut prose, a controversial conclusion, and the thoughtful reflection on racism and racial identity resonate without treading into political or even overtly specific agenda waters, as the story succeeds as both a modern coming-of-age and relevant social commentary.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Hauntingly beautiful prose…Exquisitely told…Rachel’s tale has the potential of becoming seared in your memory.”

    Dallas Morning News

  • “[An] affecting, exquisite debut novel…Durrow’s powerful novel is poised to find a place among classic stories of the American experience.”

    Miami Herald

  • “A heartbreaking debut…Keeps the reader in thrall.”

    Boston Globe

  • The Girl Who Fell from the Sky can actually fly…Its energy comes from its vividly realized characters…Durrow has a terrific ear for dialogue, an ability to summon a wealth of hopes, and fears in a single line.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Rachel’s voice resonated in my reading mind in much the same way as did that of the young protagonist of The House on Mango Street. There’s an achingly honest quality to it; both wise and naïve, it makes you want to step between the pages to lend comfort.”

    NPR

  • “An auspicious debut…[Durrow] has crafted a modern story about identity and survival.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “Stunning…What makes Durrow’s novel soar is her masterful sense of voice, her assured, nuanced handling of complex racial issues—and her heart.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “Thoughtful and thought provoking.”

    VOYA

  • The Girl Who Fell from the Sky is that rare thing: a post-postmodern novel with heart that weaves a circle of stories about race and self-discovery into a tense and sometimes terrifying whole.”

    Ms. Magazine

  • A Booklist Editors’ Choice
  • A Booklist Top 10 First Novel
  • A 2010 Washington Post Best Book for Fiction
  • Selected for the February 2010 Indie Next List
  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sheri | 2/18/2014

    " A really good debut novel (semi-autobiographical) about a biracial girl (Danish & African-American) whose family life is enveloped in more than enough tragedy for a lifetime, added to which is the uncertainty & identity crisis of her ethnic heritage. 80% of this book merits 5 stars. But the ending wasn't up to the rest of the novel, and the gaps in the narrative (dad, the red-haired guy, the mom's boss) towards the end really leave you hanging. Now that Durrow has mined her adolescence to write this 1st novel, I hope she's got something in reserve to write about next. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alice | 2/14/2014

    " I liked this book, but I did not connect with it emotionally despite it being very sensitive and beautifully-written. I really enjoyed reading about the experiences of a biracial girl being brought up in an African-American community in Portland. But there is a big mystery that surrounds the book which never got resolved to my satisfaction. In fact, there are a number of plot twists which seemed unrealistic, that took place primarily so the main character would react to them. Still, I appreciated the book's artistry. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sandra Clark | 2/9/2014

    " The 2012 Everybody Reads book for Multnomah County Library. Very good pick for the program - I'm definitely looking forward to the discussions. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elise Thanasouras | 2/7/2014

    " Liked the way the story was delivered. (3/11) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Yvette Collins | 1/30/2014

    " Easy read. Simplistic tie-ups, and empty character developments. Disappointed in the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chandra | 1/29/2014

    " definitely worth reading. sad story, but it deals with a bunch of different issues and is very thought-provoking. strong writing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carol | 1/28/2014

    " I felt like this book was written for the bright high school sophomore or junior. While it was a good book, it didn't offer me any new insight into what made the characters tick or what it was like to be the title character. I came away with no real understanding. A little shallow for my taste. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah Natwick | 1/11/2014

    " This book was great, it gave me a lot to think about and it was written well. I think anyone that cares about looking at issues of race in America should read this. As someone who if I have children they will be biracel it gave me a lot to think about. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Corrie | 1/10/2014

    " Well written and, at times sobering and sad. A great story about seeing yourself as more than a race. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Helen | 1/6/2014

    " This is Thursdays Book Group book for May. Done now.. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Hannah Jane | 12/24/2013

    " What I didn't like about this book: It was poorly written, confusing and muddy. I also couldn't get attached to any of the characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cindy | 12/12/2013

    " A powerful book about being biracial and finding self in an unaccepting society which makes us choose. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brittany Wilmes | 11/10/2013

    " This was a good, quick read - it unfurled quickly once I got into it. Reading it with the book club helped open up some of the themes and symbols, but the book didn't really resonate deeply with me in the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole | 11/10/2013

    " great book with a lot of depth "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 BettyBolero | 11/8/2013

    " This novel is inspired by a real life event and the author, who is also biracial, paints a story around the tragedy and uses her own life experiences to make the characters richer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Samantha | 10/7/2013

    " This book was beautifully written, however, the ending seemed very rushed. An extra 20 pages to help conclude the plot would have been appreciated. Overall, a very good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katie | 8/6/2013

    " This was a really good book; I should probably be giving it four stars, but it was so sad. I think it would make for a really thought-provoking discussion. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sandra | 5/15/2013

    " Three and a half stars is what I want to give it. I liked it, but not 4 stars worth. Rachel and Brick are great characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tene | 1/29/2013

    " It was a decent read, but I was disappointed by the ending. She has potential to be a good author. Hope she writes another book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Renee | 12/15/2012

    " Wonderful book, surprising and unique. The story reveals itself layer by layer as the characters struggle with identity and the past. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maria Ramirez dodson | 3/20/2012

    " a MUST read for anyone interested in what it means to live a multi-cultural life. especially important read for women. beautiful writing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rose | 3/19/2012

    " Different from other things we've read. Gave lots of insight on the hostess who chose it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leone | 1/24/2012

    " book club book. I really liked this book and how it was written. Very interesting, sad story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 11/5/2011

    " Interesting story. I much enjoyed the writing style. I hoped to pass it on to a friend, but apparently she already read it which was how I came to purchase it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John Hanscom | 9/15/2011

    " A good book, but not as good as hyped. I think I am too old, at 65. I lived and participated in the civil rights struggles of the 60s, and the themes of this book, though well written, were familiar to me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jill | 6/3/2011

    " It really just boils down to believable, not-self-conscious writing style, and characters that feel alive. She wrote them so well. I just loved this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cindy | 5/23/2011

    " A powerful book about being biracial and finding self in an unaccepting society which makes us choose. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sheryl | 5/23/2011

    " I was really enjoying the story , then the end seemed really rushed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 5/22/2011

    " Very good book -- she pays homage to Nella Larsen well. I read Quicksand earlier this year, now I'm inspired to read Passing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Chrisgretchko | 5/22/2011

    " Disturbing glimpse of children who "survive" despite the horrors of society and families that are broken. Goes beyond a story of racial stereotypes and is terribly sad. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Haim | 5/12/2011

    " It took me a long time to get the feel of the book. Just becu se I didn't like it doesn't make it bad. I didn't like the short chracter chapters. It didn't allow proper character development.once I figured it out, I had to go back and reread. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julie | 5/12/2011

    " The girl ends up in NE Portland so there is a lot of desciption close to home. Not sure of the authors Portland connection. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth | 5/11/2011

    " I enjoyed this book but felt the author jumped around between narratives too much. Also, I thought the ending was weak. I would have liked to have this family saga end with more closure for Rachel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Justine | 5/11/2011

    " A book every biracial girl in the US should read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole | 5/7/2011

    " very well written book. Sad though. "

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About the Author
Author Heidi W. Durrow

Heidi Durrow is a graduate of Stanford, Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism, and Yale Law School. She is the recipient of several fellowships including one from the New York Foundation for the Arts and a Jerome Foundation Fellowship for Emerging Writers. She won top honors in the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition and the Chapter One Fiction Contest. Her writing has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, the Literary Review, Yale Journal of Law, Feminism, Essence, and Newsday. She is the recipient of Barbara Kingsolvers Bellwether Prize for Literature of Social Change.

About the Narrators

Emily Bauer is an accomplished actor and voice-over artist who has narrated hundreds of audiobooks. Her film credits include Mona Lisa Smile and Long Distance and her theater credits include the thirty-fifth anniversary production of Hair and Almost Heaven: John Denver’s America.

Kathleen McInerney won the prestigious Audie Award for Best Narration in 2011 and was a finalist for the Audie in 2010 and 2015. Her narrations have also earned several AudioFile Earphones Awards. She has performed in New York and around the United States in both classical and contemporary theater. Her credits also include television commercials, daytime drama, radio plays, and animation voice-over.