A Citywide Reads volunteer wrote the following summary of her experience at the special discussion of Heidi Durrow's The Girl Who Fell from the Sky, as well as the lecture by the author which followed the discussion:
On March 2, a group of adults and teens attended a special Citywide Reads discussion at the Main Library to talk about the novel, The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi Durrow.
The thought provoking discussion filled more than an hour of exchanges and engaging commentary, with the discussion often centered on the teenage protagonist and her emerging identity. Questions flew back and forth about various characters and the unfolding mystery that wove through the story. Broader issues surfaced like how do we come to know ourselves and how long does the journey take - all of which brought us back to Ms. Durrow's novel and the burning question: when will Rachel know herself? For that question, we later asked the author if there is a sequel forthcoming; she replied that she is currently working on other projects. The group viewed clips from three films that explored themes of identity: Persepolis, The Secret Life of Bees, and The Namesake.
Later in the evening Ms. Durrow gave a reading from her book that moved the audience to another level of understanding identity, as her voice lifted the prose from the page and we wrapped our hearts around the words.
Several people spoke highly of the Citywide Reads program and how much they loved the variety of books chosen over the years. They enjoyed the books on so many levels - reading the novels, discussing the issues, and hearing the authors' perspectives. Check out the Santa Monica Citywide Reads events and discussions through March 12, and join other readers who are talking about issues that rise off the pages of novels and engage us in conversations with one another.