A stunning debut novel of love, family, and justice that intertwines the stories of an escaped house slave in 1852 Virginia and ambitious young lawyer in contemporary New York Virginia, 1852 Seventeen year old Josephine Bell decides to run from the failing tobacco farm where she is a slave and nurse to her ailing mistress, the aspiring artist Lu Anne Bell New York City,A stunning debut novel of love, family, and justice that intertwines the stories of an escaped house slave in 1852 Virginia and ambitious young lawyer in contemporary New York Virginia, 1852 Seventeen year old Josephine Bell decides to run from the failing tobacco farm where she is a slave and nurse to her ailing mistress, the aspiring artist Lu Anne Bell New York City, 2004 Lina Sparrow, an ambitious first year associate in an elite law firm, is given a difficult, highly sensitive assignment that could make her career she must find the perfect plaintiff to lead a historic class action lawsuit worth trillions of dollars in reparations for descendants of American slaves It is through her father, the renowned artist Oscar Sparrow, that Lina discovers Josephine Bell and a controversy roiling the art world are the iconic paintings long ascribed to Lu Anne Bell really the work of her house slave, Josephine A descendant of Josephine s would be the perfect face for the reparations lawsuit if Lina can find one While following the runaway girl s faint trail through old letters and plantation records, Lina finds herself questioning her own family history and the secrets that her father has never revealed How did Lina s mother die And why will he never speak about her Moving between antebellum Virginia and modern day New York, this searing, suspenseful and heartbreaking tale of art and history, love and secrets, exp
The House Girl A stunning debut novel of love family and justice that intertwines the stories of an escaped house slave in Virginia and ambitious young lawyer in contemporary New York Virginia Seventeen
I liked the beginning of this book and thought it had a lot of promise I liked the way the two stories were set during slavery and the present I often like dual narration and get absorbed by two different viewpoints I like the topic of slave reparations, wondering at the outset how we could ever be so arrogant as to think we could repair our actions in any meaningful way I expected the author to give me some food for thought.Instead it just progressively annoyed me until I had to force myself to [...]
Feeling a little guilty by not explaining my 1 star rating, so here is my review that I submitted to Outstanding ratings, historical fiction, captivating subject on all counts I should have loved this book Unfortunately, the writer s narrative descriptions were unbearable She describes everything in laborious detail, even the most inane subjects and banal situations Don t get me wrong, I love descriptive writing, but this was complete overkill Here is an excerpt from Conklin s description of Lin [...]
I don t often review a book but I have to say something about this one I just have to wonder about all the 4 star and 5 star ratings here This book is readable, certainly, but not at all the page turner I expected from hearing others idolize it The present day character, Lina, is a lawyer in a high powered NY firm looking for a plaintiff to represent a class action lawsuit on behalf of slaves brought to the United States who were, obviously, never compensated for their work The book moves betwee [...]
Onvan The House Girl Nevisande Tara Conklin ISBN 62207393 ISBN13 9780062207395 Dar 370 Safhe Saal e Chap 2013
I received an advanced reader s copy of this book and I am fairly certain that no one will ever let me win a giveaway again after this review This book is very very bad In a book about slavery and reparations, I do not think it would be out of line to expand descriptions of key characters beyond dark and pale One main character has dark eyes and black hair her mom has dark hair and pale skin and dark green eyes her dad has dark frazzled hair and blue eyes someone has dark eyebrows, death is dark [...]
Tonight Now.It did not shake her, what Nathan had said Freedom was a curious thing Were the chickens free, running their fool heads off in the yard The horse, that still must fit the bit between its teeth Was Missus free But what else to dream for There was no dream of Josephine s that did not contain a place where she might sit and look upon a field or a bird in flight or a person and ponder the lines of that thing, to capture them in pencil or charcoal or ink or pigment Just to sit for a momen [...]
Started out pretty good but the main character in the present, Lina Sparrow, just seemed to get stupider and stupider as the story progressed Has she never heard of Ancestry Also, that missive from Caleb Harper that explained just about EVERYTHING about Josephine and her baby was just too convenient And the story line about her mother was completely ridiculous and unbelievable Again, if she was curious about her mother s death and was too spineless to force the question with her father, all she [...]
Received as a giveaway on first reads Thank you for choosing me and I look forward to reading it I loved this book but would ve liked to at least hear a little about what happened with Lina and her mom The book had me engaged from the beginning There were a few twists and turns that were unexpected and a couple of characters that I would have like to see further developed but I look forward to reading from this author.
I felt annoyed by this book The law suite was impossible and ridiculous It was like the author started the first half of the book thinking it was a great idea and then through her own research realized it was never going to pan out Instead of re writing the whole story she simply used one of her characters to explain why the law suit wasn t going to work and from that point on in the book the author had to change her perspective and create a new reason for the modern day side of the story to be [...]
Full Disclosure I went to high school with Tara but haven t seen her since we graduated.It was an odd experience to read a book by someone with whom I was a teenager I spent the first few pages being overly judgmental about grammar and comma placement Sorry, Tara But within about five or six pages it stopped being about High School Friend now Author Tara and all about the characters and the story.This first novel tells the powerful and compelling story of Josephine, a slave in Virginia in the mi [...]
It s hard to believe that this is a debut novel Tara Conklin has beautifully written an emotional story of a young woman slave in Virginia in 1852 and skillfully connects that story to a young woman , an attorney living in present day New York City She brings history to life with Josephine s story and we see the cruelties of slavery , the desire for freedom, and the courageous fight for it I love the alternating narratives of Josephine and Lina and how Lina s story helps unfold the story of Jose [...]
I liked the clever linkage of two stories across time, but I wasn t overwhelmed on their emotional engagement and the scope of overall themes Lina is a NYC young lawyer like the author who gets tasked with finding a profile case for a class action lawsuit against the government and companies that benefited from slavery Through her art world connections she comes across the case of a house slave, Josephine, who may have been the creative force behind the wonderful and pricey paintings by the wife [...]
I very much enjoyed The House Girl Tara Conklin has previously published short fiction but this is her first novel I think Conklin is a great story teller and did a good job of fully utilizing her background in both history and law to really draw me into the book The book is categorized as historical fiction and it also has a legal slant It is the story of two young women, who share many similarities and grew up 150 years apart Josephine was born in Virginia in about 1835, born a black slave who [...]
Tara Conklin s wise, stirring and assured debut tells the story of two extraordinary women, living a century apart, but joined by their ferocity of spirit From page one, I fell under the spell of THE HOUSE GIRL s sensuous prose and was frantically turning pages until its thrilling conclusion Maria Semple, author of Where d You Go, Bernadette THE HOUSE GIRL is an enthralling story of identity and social justice told through the eyes of two indomitable women, one a slave and the other a modern day [...]
Conklin is yet another lawyer turned novelist which makes me, once , contemplate law school as a way to get my writer ly career going This is a complex novel that develops slowly but not ponderously, threaded with various plot lines that knit together neatly, and some deep, painful emotions handled without melodrama Opening in 1852, Virginia slave Josephine Bell decides to runaway from the plantation where she is kept, her sick mistress fading away like the collapsing farm where she lives In 200 [...]
Alternating chapters tell the stories of two women In 1853, Josephine Bell, a seventeen year old slave on a Virginian tobacco plantation, plans her escape to freedom In New York in 2004, Lina Sparrow, a young attorney, is looking for a good lead plaintiff for a class action suit seeking reparation for the descendants of American slaves The two stories intersect when Lina hears about a folk artist whose paintings are thought to actually be the work of her house girl Josephine Lina sets out to do [...]
I really enjoyed House Girl by Tara Conklin The subject matter reparation for blacks African Americans is one that I ve always been interested inbut this is the first time, I m aware, that it s ever been taken on in a novel Conklin wrote parrallel stories, one that transported us back to the 1800 when slavery was still alive and well, the other during modern day The transitions were seamless and it was easy to flashback or move forward without getting lose I must admit I m generally pissed and u [...]
I had been interested in this book because the cover art is so beautiful, so when I saw it in the library it was a selection for one of my bookclubs, I quickly picked it up It is a story that initially has two main characters Josephine, who is a house girl in the 1800 s in Virginia and Lina, who is a modern day young attorney It takes some time for the storylines to intersect I was interested in the Josephine storyline maybe because I like historical fiction than contemporary I did not know th [...]
My review is based on the soft back edition of this book which I received free from the publisher as an Advance Readers Edition in exchange for the promise that I would write a review Unlike many books where it takes several chapters before you are drawn into the story, I was immediately captivated by this book The primary message in the book for me was the comparison between the hopes and dreams of two girls One was a modern day smart young white female lawyer raised by a single father who thou [...]
The House Girl is a novel in the historical fiction genre that follows the formula of a present day story alternating chapters with a historical back story It s not a bad book, it s just not breaking any new ground The back story is pretty basic, with a young house slave named Josephine who dreams of running away to freedom It s fine, it s readable, it s heartfelt The present day story centers on a young lawyer who is given the opportunity to work on a potentially enormous and explosive class ac [...]
What an incredible book Set simultaneously in 1850s Virginia and New York City 2004 and telling the stories of slave girl Josephine and lawyer Lina, this may be the best dual period book I ve ever read Debut author Tara Conklin weaves two separate stories together like a beautiful tapestry, the past and the present blended artfully and skillfully.This is a story about art, and the power of brushstrokes to heal broken hearts from different worlds, different time periods It s a story about interpr [...]
Unable to get the book in Australia, I was so pleased when at last it arrived in the post A beautiful hard cover with high quality wrap around and beautiful graphics The narrative itself is captivating Tara Conklin immerses her 21st century protagonist in the 1800s world of slavery in particular, in the world of a woman whose spirit and talent would not be silenced The characters and their lives are complex and have been tightly and realistically constructed for the reader I have loved the last [...]
You d think that with all the historical stories out there about the evils of slavery, about slaves trying to be free, of the plight of the early African Americans, you d think you d read it all by now What could one author add to it A lot.This one touched me in a way that many others haven t Looking back now that I ve turned the last page, I am trying to pinpoint what it exactly what it was that really hit me hard, and I m not sure Josephinehas lived a live of heartache She s an item, slapped [...]
This story is amazing I need not say .
Great book by an obviously very intelligent writer.
Audiobook performed by Bahni TurpinIn contemporary New York City, attorney Carolina Sparrow is working on an historic class action lawsuit seeking reparations for the descendants of American slaves In 1852, Josephine is a house slave who tends to the mistress of a Virginia tobacco plantation her mistress is the artist Lu Anne Bell The two stories converge when Lina hears of a controversy rocking the art world art historians now suspect that the paintings ascribed to Lu Anne Bell may really have [...]
3.5 Loved Josephine s part of the story, 1852 on a failing tobacco farm in Virgina, but Lina s in the present day, I did not find as enticing The author did a very credible job in seamlessly weaving the past with the present, but the present day story was a bit of a cliche for me Young lawyer, taking a case on reparations,ar times I felt a bit minupulated and preached to about this case, and the fact that the main litigant was of course an extremely good looking male Josephine, who wanted to run [...]
This was okay Not as great as all the hype made it out to be Some of the narratives were long and drawn out especially in detail I over looked a lot of that in order to finish the book I did like how the two stories went well with each other.
I enjoyed the book very much, finding it to be a page turner that pulled me in and caused me to care very much about the outcomes for all of the characters The parts of the narrative that take place in the past, in the 1860 s when slavery was still a reality but abolitionists were growing in strength and number, were compelling and horrifying The story line in modern day New York wasn t quite as strong, but I still found Lina and her father, Oscar to be likeable and engaging The plot covers mult [...]
This book had the potential to be a good story, but never quite made it there for me In fact, I ended up being so distracted and irritated by the author s errors that it was hard for me to even care about the characters or what became of them The author wrote well about being a lawyer in the North, but I got the feeling she has never visited Virginia and the areas she used as the setting for the main part of her story I would recommend that she do a little research before using actual locations [...]