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The House Girl: A Novel by Tara Conklin

The House Girl: A Novel (edition 2013)

by Tara Conklin

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1,3238611,477 (3.66)53
A novel of love, family, and justice follows Lina Sparrow, an ambitious first-year associate in a Manhattan law firm, as she searches for the "perfect plaintiff" to lead a historic class-action lawsuit worth trillions of dollars in reparations for descendants of American slaves.
Title:The House Girl: A Novel
Authors:Tara Conklin
Info:William Morrow (2013), Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:New Books, Currently reading

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The House Girl by Tara Conklin


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» See also 53 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 86 (next | show all)
I've tried to get into this book twice now but no dice. I'm not sure why I can't keep with it but it just feels like a chore going back to the book. ( )
  fellanta13 | Feb 14, 2022 |
Good, but a fairly superficial handling of all the weighty topics the author decided to take on. Slavery, addiction, abandonment, suicide... The list goes on. I can't help but feel as though this book was written by someone privileged, for someone privileged. (I happen to be that someone, so I guess it worked.) A solid novel, but I'm not tripping over myself to recommend it. ( )
  Cerestheories | Nov 8, 2021 |
Although I normally do not like books that switch between characters and/or time frames, this author did an excellent job of it because I actually looked forward to finding out what was happening in each person's life. The idea of trying to win a case for the long ago relatives of slaves seems wrong to me but liked the thinking that there should be more done to remember the efforts of people wanting to help slaves get a better life. This makes you think of present day versions of "slave" work as the lawyer Lina realized her life both at work and at home was more similar to Josephine the house slave. ( )
  kshydog | Dec 13, 2020 |
In the mid-19th century house slave Josephine is planning to escape. Current day, Lina is a lawyer. Her law firm wants to file a reparations lawsuit, but needs to find a descendant to represent. While Lina looks for such a descendant, she is drawn into Josephine’s story. Josephine is thought to be the real artist behind the art supposedly created by a white woman, the woman Josephine serves.

I may have that summary a bit “off”. I listened to the audio, but I’m not going to fault the narrator for my loss of focus. I have listened to this narrator before and rated those books 4 and 5 stars (for the 5 star book, she as one of a few narrators). So, unfortunately, I did lose focus many times in this book, so I never really cared about the characters and I wasn’t all that interested in the story. ( )
  LibraryCin | Sep 21, 2020 |
Excellent story, a slave girl, also a talented artist. Her story comes out because of a lawyer attempting to find the family of this slave, house girl Josephine, artist, so the proper people can be recognized for her art.The only negative I have is that the story was told mostly through letters,
which I found a bit distracting from the story, who was writing the letters and when. On the whole though I really liked this book although quite heartbreaking as are most stories during this time of slavery. ( )
  myers3 | May 2, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 86 (next | show all)
Her understanding of history and instinct for detail make The House Girl a remarkably assured debut.
added by 4leschats | editBookPage, Julie Hale (Nov 1, 2013)
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Mister hit Josephine with the palm of his hand across her left cheek and it was then that she knew she would run.
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A novel of love, family, and justice follows Lina Sparrow, an ambitious first-year associate in a Manhattan law firm, as she searches for the "perfect plaintiff" to lead a historic class-action lawsuit worth trillions of dollars in reparations for descendants of American slaves.

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Two remarkable women, separated by more than a century, whose lives unexpectedly intertwine...2004:  Lina Sparrow, the daughter of an artist,  is an ambitious young lawyer working on a historic class-action lawsuit seeking reparation for the descendants of American slaves.  1852:  Josephine is a seventeen-year-old house slave who tends to the mistress of a Virginia tobacco farm-an aspiring artist named LuAnne Bell, whose paintings will become the subject of speculation and controversy among future collectors.  Lina's search to find a plaintiff for her case will introduce her to the story of Josephine.  Was she the real talent behind her mistress's now-famous portraits?  It is a question that will take Lina from the corridors of a modern corporate law firm to the sleek galleries of the New York city art world to the crumbling remains of an old plantation house.  Along the way, Lina will unearth long-buried truths about Josephine and about herself...and just maybe achieve long-overdue justice.  (ARC)
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