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“This was really good. Half the story is dedicated to a slave girl in 1840's Virginia as she contemplates running away fr. her master and the other half takes place in 2004 w/a young lawyer at a law firm in NY, a young woman trying to make partner. Her father is a renowned artist in NY and having...”see full review » see other reviews »
“Read in one day.
“Love historical fiction... Was a bit disappointed by the ending”Aundi R wrote this review Thursday, November 14, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Meeting - @ Nat's”Francine wrote this review Tuesday, November 12, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“book for kellie”Sue J wrote this review Wednesday, November 6, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“THE HOUSE GIRL by Tara Conklin
Josephine is a 17 year old slave in anti-bellum Virginia while Lina is a twenty something up and coming lawyer in present day NYC. The lives of these two become entwined when a wealthy Black client of Lina’s law firm starts a “slave reparations” law suit that becomes entangled with an art dealer’s contention that Josephine is the true artist and not her widely acclaimed mistress.
Both life in a high powered law firm and life in the slave owning South are presented believably. Lina and Josephine are both sympathetic and well-drawn characters. The story line for both is engaging. While the sub plot involving Lina’s mother is rather thin and too neatly concluded, the artistic element is a link for the two stories.
Book groups will have a variety of subjects to discuss; some very superficial and entertaining and others quite serious and profound. Race relations now and then permeate both stories. The question “Who is Caucasian and who is Black?” may form the body of the discussion. The value of a piece of art and how the artist’s name recognition determines price is another point for discussion. Motherless children and how they and their families cope could form another topic.
“Loved this story! What a great way to tell the mysterious story of a slave and connect it to one's life today. The parallel plot makes for an interesting, intriging story. Great storytelling about a scar from our country's past with no fluff or guaranteed happy endings. ”Dani loves books wrote this review Sunday, October 20, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This was really good. Half the story is dedicated to a slave girl in 1840's Virginia as she contemplates running away fr. her master and the other half takes place in 2004 w/a young lawyer at a law firm in NY, a young woman trying to make partner. Her father is a renowned artist in NY and having a major gallery show-- all paintings of his deceased wife, her mother. She was beautiful, intelligent, talented and Lina knows nothing about her mother and is meanwhile trying to put together a case regarding reparations for slave descendents. She settles on Josephine, the house girl for a very sick woman and her brutal husband in 1845. The wife is an artist who occasionally paints, but her slave Josephine is the real artist & she lets her have paints & canvas sometimes, but claims her paintings as her own. Mrs. Bell is dying, but at the end asks Josephine's forgiveness for taking her newborn son away fr her to sell to another plantation. Josephine had thought that the baby died, but never forgives her mistress for this betrayal. In 2007, Lina learns that Jo is really the artist that the Bell family has been touting as their own all these years & she hopes to find the direct descendent of Jo to put a face on the case. She does find one, but has to convince him in spite of his reluctance & that he looks white. He hs several of Jo's paintings & now may be able to claim them all as a decsendant. But there are a couple twists & surprises at the end. Book club material. ”Mary C wrote this review Monday, October 28, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Would recommend to most people.”Sara B wrote this review Friday, September 6, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“ An interesting read...enjoyed it very much and will read Ms. Conklin's next book. I liked the different settings, the 1800's and present day, also the two strong women that bring the story to life but under different circumstances. ”Sandee63 wrote this review Tuesday, September 3, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No