Maybe our life is measured by what we accomplish in it. Maybe it's the changes we go through. From past to present, Rachel's character goes through many changes. From trying to deal with a new life in a new country to wanting her Pop and trying to be a "teenager". In the book, The Girl Who Fell From The Sky by Heidi W. Durrow, Rachel has to move in with her grandmother who is unfit to raise a child due to "contributions" she drinks daily. The book is a journey that leads you in a whirl wind of events. Flashbacks are intricately woven to fit in the story as they help clue you in on what happened that tragic day. What eventually brought Rachel to be where she is now.
Moving to a different country after having lived elsewhere your whole life can be hard. One way her family coped with the new life was trying to forget by experiencing fun things. "Dear Mrs Warner, thank you for giving us the money to go to the amusement park. We are going next week. I can't wait. Love, Rachel. (25)" Even though her family tried to deal with their current situation as best as possible, it was still upsetting to live in a new country with most of her family dead. At night, Rachel would cry and scream. She would have nightmares almost every night thinking back on how she could've stopped her brother from dying. " 'Poor thing. It's alright. Go ahead. Let it out. It's hard to make sense of,' she says. 'But you're safe here.' (31)" She felt regret from that day. The regret doesn't stick with her the whole story though. It's human to feel regret about many things. I myself, have a regret that made me be able to connect to Rachel's chararter. She regretted the way she could've prevented her brother's death but didn't, and I regret my past and how I wasn't able to help out my best friend before her untimely death.
The only family she really knew was her Pop. In the beginning, it is unclear of why her Pop isn't with her. The only thing you know is that she longs for her father all the time. After losing your mother, younger brother and younger sister, I can understand why she would want her father so much. "I am waiting for Pop to come back - for Pop to come get me and take me home... (51)" After having moved to new country and then faced with a tragic event, all she wants to do is just go back home. Away from the country that her family lost their life in.
As Rachel began to grow older, she began to adjust to her new life in the new country. Her yearn for her father became less spoken about and more subtle. She began to go through the stages that most teenagers go through. She began to talk back to her grandmother and began to "defy her power" in the grandmother's words. She was always a very intelligent young lady. She also began to lie and have her intelligence make excuses for her. "Kissing John Bailey felt really good... When John Bailey touches me, I know this is the skin I want to be in. Sometimes when his mom works nights and he doesn't have basketball practice, I go to his house after school. When I come home late, I tell grandma I was at the library. (150)" Her grandmother doesn't believe her and Rachel knows this, but I think this is what most teenagers drive on. Trying to be their own person with power and not being stopped from doing what they want to do.
I am really enjoying reading The Girl Who Fell From The Sky. It's fun to track Rachel through her journey as she tries to find who the person she lost in that 9-story fall. Maybe the wind was blowing really hard that day and blew away her sweater, but I hope some day soon she finds her sweater so she can move on to the race known as life.