Thursday, March 14, 2013

The House Girl

by Tara Conklin

Debut novelist Tara Conklin weaves the stories of two very vibrant women, living a century apart : seventeen year old Josephine, an artistically talented house slave in antebellum Virginia; and present day, twenty- four year old first year lawyer, Lina. Their stories become intertwined when Lina starts working on a retribution case for a big client. Looking for the perfect plaintiff, Lina discovers that Josephine may actually be the true artist of the famous works of her owner.

This book is filled with history of pre-Civil War Virginia, and the underground railroad. This being the sesquicentennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, The House Girl reminds us all about the unnamed victims and heroes of slavery in America.

I got caught up in both stories because of the great detail Ms. Conklin uses and because of the "digging" for historical information. As the author switched between the two stories, I found it hard to choose which life was more intriguing....Lina's or Josephine's.... both were appealing and drew me in, but in the end, for me, Josephine's story won hands down because of the historical interest.

This would make a great book club read! I enthusiastically recommend it to my book club friends.

~ Sally