Rachel Morse is the soul survivor of a horrific tragedy, brought from Chicago, IL to live with her grandmother and aunt in Portland Oregon. Rachel creates within her self a "new girl"... the old girl is gone, dead with the rest of her family. This new girl struggles to navigate a different life in Portland. Back home, her parents - a white Danish woman and a black soldier, never told her she was black. They never prepared her for a world where her kinky, curly hair and bright blue eyes would land her smack in the middle of two races, able to identify with neither.
The novel follows Rachel and those who are involved in her life on the periphery, likes spokes on a wheel, by switching narrators. We jump in time between Rachel's present day, and the slow re-telling of the story through other voices.
I'm having a difficult time forming the words to describe my feelings on this book. It is beautifully, almost poetically written. I was deeply involved in the story and invested in each character. I started listening to the audio book in the car and it was just moving so slowly that I came home one day and bought the book so I could read the rest of it and find out what happened!
I like stories that are subtle. You don't read what happened, you come to understand it. You don't get a play by play, but you get enough details to know, in your heart, what's going on. I felt that there was an effort to explain things from the mind of a young, confused girl and I was sympathetic to that.
I also felt like there wasn't... enough story. I got to the end and thought... "erm... that's it?" I still sort of feel like I don't really know what happened, or why. I still have questions at the end of the book and while I don't like endings where everything is pat and everything is tied with a big bow, I do like to have major plot lines tied up.
This is a great read, and I really enjoyed it. It just left me wanting more.