Skip to main content

The Girl Who Fell from the Sky

Heidi W. Durrow

A bizarre mystery surrounding a family tragedy forms the centrepiece of this atmospheric story of a mixed-race girl’s struggle for identity.
Orphaned and alone, young Rachel is taken under the wing of her strict African-American grandmother and moved to a mostly black community where her light brown skin, blue eyes, and astonishing beauty start to attract a troubling level of attention. As the terrible secrets begin to emerge, Rachel learns to swallow her grief and construct her own self-image in a world that wants to see her as either Black or White.
Inspired by the true story of a mother’s twisted love, The Girl Who Fell from the Sky is a lyrical and poignant journey into loss, trauma, and the kinship that eventually allows a young girl to face the truth, confront the demons she has buried, and finally achieve a sense of peace.

  • Publication date: April 1, 2010
  • ISBN: 9781851687459
  • RRP: £9.99
  • Pages: 288


“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

"There's a poetry to these characters that draws you into their lives, making for a beautiful and earnest coming-of-age novel that speaks as eloquently to teens as it does to adults."

Amazon Best Books of the Month, February 2010

"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

"Durrow fits a striking cast of characters and an almost overwhelming sequence of traumas into this compact and insightful family saga of the toxicity of racism and the forging of the self... Durrow brings piercing authenticity to this provocative tale."


"A heartbreaking debut … keeps the reader in thrall."

Boston Globe

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

Washington Post

"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

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

The New York Times

"Overall, I enjoyed this debut novel"

Bookbag -

"With different characters narrating, it examines a bi-racial pre-teen's struggle to carve out a future"

Pride Magazine

“Tender and evocative, funny and moving... a delicately nuanced meditation on race.”

The Times Literary Supplement

Heidi W. Durrow

Author page

Sign up to our newsletter

Sign up to our newsletters to find out more about our latest books and offers, straight to your inbox.

Select mailing lists