Heidi W. DurrowHeidi W. Durrow

Reader's Guide for The Girl Who Fell from the Sky

  1. What is Rachel's central dilemma?
  2. What prevented Nella from returning to her family in Denmark?
  3. Why does Brick become fascinated with Rachel? What does he ultimately hope for his relationship with her?
  4. How do you make sense of Roger's absence from his daughter's life?
  5. Why does Rachel develop such a strong bond with Aunt Loretta?
  6. Grandma is a church-going woman. But what is most important to her about her religion? What does she want Rachel to value about religion?
  7. What does Rachel make of being told she's beautiful?
  8. "Grandma's dreams come from hearing about Up North when she was growing up in Texas on a farm, on a road that had no name. Grandma's dream is bigger than her life. I guess at Mor's dreams; having a husband, a family, love. That's the way I would list them. But then I think about it again—her dream maybe was feeling the way she felt with Doug—the way she would smile easy; she would laugh easy; she would play. At least at first. Then the sky in her dream got low too." How would you describe Grandma's dreams? Nella's? Rachel's?
  9. If Rachel had a theme song, what would it be?
  10. What difference, if any, does it make knowing that the book is inspired by a real event?
  11. Do you think that in the age of Obama, biracial/bicultural people will continue to experience the same kinds of stereotypes and stigma that Rachel did?

Discussion Questions for Book Clubs [PDF]