Title: The House Girl
Author: Tara Conklin
Genre: Historical Fiction (Secular)
Publishing Date: Jan 1, 2013
About the Book:
The House Girl, the historical fiction debut by Tara Conklin, is an unforgettable story of love, history, and a search for justice, set in modern-day New York and 1852 Virginia.
Weaving together the story of an escaped slave in the pre–Civil War South and a determined junior lawyer, The House Girlfollows Lina Sparrow as she looks for an appropriate lead plaintiff in a lawsuit seeking compensation for families of slaves. In her research, she learns about Lu Anne Bell, a renowned prewar artist whose famous works might have actually been painted by her slave, Josephine.
Featuring two remarkable, unforgettable heroines, Tara Conklin’s The House Girl is riveting and powerful, literary fiction at its very best.
If I’m just being honest this book wasn’t my cup of tea. The basis for the story was intriguing but I wasn’t a fan of how it played out or how it concluded. For the first almost half of the book I would have considered it a clean read, but then cursing started to occur fairly regularly including a few instances of using the Lord’s name in vain. I didn’t feel it was necessary and almost didn’t finish. I was curious to see what was going to happen in the end but unfortunately felt underwhelmed by the ending as well so this is one I probably wouldn’t find myself recommending. I love historical fiction but this one missed the mark for me. I think if certain elements were changed or developed more it would have been a much better story.
Having said that though, I did like the premises for Josephine’s story. I won’t share the details I didn’t like because I don’t want to spoil, but her character intrigued me and I really wanted to know more about her. This was a split-timeline so Josephine’s story was from 1848-1852, while Lina’s piece was in the early 2000’s. I definitely preferred the historical timeline. I would even be willing to say that I’d prefer the story if Lina’s story were removed completely.
I never like giving negative reviews but sadly this one I wasn’t thrilled with. I won a copy of it from a Goodreads giveaway. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.