There are a few things I liked about this story. First is the dual narrative, told between slave Josephine Bell in the mid-1800s and lawyer Lina Swallow in the present day, post 9/11. As a slave, Josephine's story is probably one you've heard before, but no less tragic because of it. Lina is a lawyer working on a precedent setting case dealing with reparation of slavery, where she discovers Josephine's history. As the two women's stories unfold they not only give insight to themselves, but also to each other.
Which is the other piece of this story I enjoyed. The characters are all searching and neither time nor place interferes with the familiar story human existence has played out over the centuries. Your past, your present, and what you hope for in the future, all pieces we replay in our minds or search for anywhere we think possible. This similarity despite time binds the characters together and affects Lina in a drastic way.
And for those of you who love how recent stories have included art or music as centers to their stories, The House Girl's characters and events center in part around artwork from the pre-Civil War years and the question as to who is the real artist.
And look at the beautiful cover! Love it!
Art, slavery, search for self...this story has what it takes to make a gripping story. Do you usually find southern Civil War era based stories interesting?