Rated of 5
by Emily G. (Clear Lake, MN)
Skillful handling of complex stories
It took me a while to get drawn into this book. I was skeptical about the slavery reparations lawsuit that serves as a catalyst for Lina Sparrow's search and I feared another slave narrative.
However, about half way through the book, I realized I was in masterful hands. Conklin created vivid worlds and engaging characters in both 1852 and 2004. She created characters who I wanted to know, for whom I rooted and about whom I cared. She never settled for the trite or obvious plot points and brought the narratives to effective and satisfying closure. I loved the focus on female artists and the questions of creativity, love, and relationships.
I think this novel would make a wonderful book club read because of the variety of complex themes involved and the many points through which readers can enter book. The House Girl is a carefully crafted exploration of identity, gender, slavery and familial relationships that I very much enjoyed.