The House Girl is a beautifully-delivered tale that will keep readers turning pages well into the night.
An attorney herself, Ms. Conklin definitely knows the ins and outs of the legal profession, and puts that knowledge to good use. Ironically, it is the historical voice of Josephine that is better developed, more believable, and much more lyrical. It’s almost as if Conklin’s experience blunts her ability to tell a story set in her own world. That said, this story is still well done and definitely worth reading.
I very much enjoyed the stories on their own, and the way they intertwined was exciting, suspenseful, and surprising. The House Girl makes me want to take a closer look at my own antebellum roots–not to romanticize slavery, but to better connect with humanity across the generations. This is the kind of book that helps us do just that.
Profanity/Language: 7 religious exclamations; 3 mild obscenities; 2 religious obscenities; 2 derogatory names; 12 scatological words; 2 anatomical terms; 3 f-word derivatives.
Violence/Gore: A character is slapped across the face; a character’s heels are cut to prevent him from running with few details; a person is known to have been killed in a car crash, described (twice) in varying degrees of detail; a person is alleged to have beaten other people with few details; a character purposely cuts herself with some detail; a character is severely whipped with some detail; a character describes the violent consequences of being caught as a runaway slave; a person is reported to have been strangled to death; 2 people are reported to have been whipped to death; a person is reported to have been killed in some detail; reports of the killing of abolitionists are given with no details; animals are reported to have been killed in a fire with some detail; a character is threatened with rape or beating; a character is found beaten severely with some description; a character claims that his father beat him and his brother; a character dies in childbirth with few details; a character is found after committing suicide in a violent way.
Sex/Nudity: A character remembers being raped repeatedly with no details; atrocities of slavery are categorized in a table, including physical and sexual abuse; a character is known to have raped two slaves; characters are known to have conducted extramarital affairs; nude artwork is displayed and described in some detail; characters kiss briefly (twice); characters flirt (4 times); pornography is referred to.
Mature Subject Matter:
Death of family members, suicide, slavery.
Alcohol / Drug Use:
Adults drink alcohol socially; marijuana use is referred to.