The House Girl

The House Girl

Large Print - 2013 | Large print edition.
Average Rating:
Rate this:
18

The House Girl, the historical fiction debut by Tara Conklin, is an unforgettable story of love, history, and a search for justice, set in modern-day New York and 1852 Virginia.

Weaving together the story of an escaped slave in the pre-Civil War South and a determined junior lawyer, The House Girl follows Lina Sparrow as she looks for an appropriate lead plaintiff in a lawsuit seeking compensation for families of slaves. In her research, she learns about Lu Anne Bell, a renowned prewar artist whose famous works might have actually been painted by her slave, Josephine.

Publisher: Detroit : Wheeler Publishing, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning, 2013.
Edition: Large print edition.
ISBN: 9781410458742
1410458741
Branch Call Number: Large Print Fic
Characteristics: 601 pages ; 23 cm

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

h
happycanuck
Jul 08, 2018

Fantasic book !!! So well written. Hope there are lots of others by this author.

ArapahoeAnnaL Dec 27, 2017

Two engrossing plots, settings, and characters; 1850's Virginia and NYC in 2004. Confront the pathology inherent in the relationship between a house slave and the mistress; follow the life of a young black lawyer preparing a lawsuit claiming reparations for descendants of slaves.

b
becker
Nov 10, 2017

A good book that juggles a modern day story with a connected historical story. I found this really engaging right up until the end where I thought it lost focus a bit. Still a good read though.

CatherineG_1 Sep 10, 2016

Thornhill Village Evening Book Club Selection

Thursday, October 13th, 2016.

Time: 6:30 p.m.

s
susan_findlay
Jun 10, 2016

This book was well written and kept me engaged throughout. Admittedly, I found Josephine's story much more compelling than Lina's, but I suspect that was intentional. I'm fairly certain that Lina was included as a way to give us information about key characters in Josephine's story that could not have been given just by following her.

While the suspense factor would be gone, I would re-read this book.

h
heinrij
Aug 30, 2015

I thought this might be a rip-off of the help, but it isn't. It is a good story on it's own. Although it is hard to read about the way slaves were abused, this paints a realistic picture. I would rate it PG-13

h
hunsister
Mar 10, 2015

I enjoyed this book, both for its modern storyline that involved a class action lawsuit and for the historical storyline involving a slave with artistic talent.

r
rebevans
May 26, 2014

This book alternates between a tale of an antebellum south slave girl, the underground rail road and Dorthea Round (real person- activist with underground railroad) and Lina a fictional lawyer in modern day America who is working on a case for reparations for the descendants of American slaves. It is a fascinating book which intertwines the stories of many remarkable and not so remarkable people during a notorious period of our past. Very readable.

BCD2013 May 12, 2014

NYPL Staff Pick
Lena Sparrow, a lawyer in contemporary New York, finds secrets and questions in the art world and her family when she searches for a descendant of a pre-Civil War runaway slave.
- Selection Team

r
ryner
May 04, 2014

The House Girl simultaneously tells the stories of two women separated by time, place and culture. Josephine is a house girl, a slave on a failing Virginia plantation. With her mistress in rapidly failing health, Josephine begins to orchestrate her escape into the sympathetic arms of the Underground Railroad. Lina is a present-day New York lawyer who begins work on an assignment involving slavery reparations, and her mission is to find the "perfect" living descendant to serve as plaintiff in the case. An emerging controversy surrounding the authorship of a collection of antebellum paintings may be her most promising lead.

Through the first two thirds of the book I was interested but not necessarily wowed. Then things really started to get interesting! I'm a sucker for stories involving or solving historical mysteries. When the tale took an interesting twist with merely a few dozen pages to go, I eagerly wondered how the author would manage to resolve this new question mark. In addition, there is such a high level of detail that I had to remind myself a number of times while reading that this was a work of fiction. Recommended!

View All Comments

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at SLPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top