The House Girl: A Novel (P.S.)

3.74 avg rating
( 42,945 ratings by GoodReads )
 
9780062207517: The House Girl: A Novel (P.S.)

The House Girl, the historical fiction debut by Tara Conklin, is an unforgettable story of love, history, and a search for justice, set in modern-day New York and 1852 Virginia.

Weaving together the story of an escaped slave in the pre–Civil War South and a determined junior lawyer, The House Girl follows Lina Sparrow as she looks for an appropriate lead plaintiff in a lawsuit seeking compensation for families of slaves. In her research, she learns about Lu Anne Bell, a renowned prewar artist whose famous works might have actually been painted by her slave, Josephine.

Featuring two remarkable, unforgettable heroines, Tara Conklin's The House Girl is riveting and powerful, literary fiction at its very best.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

Author One-on-One: Maria Semple and Tara Conklin

Maria Semple is the bestselling author of Where'd You Go, Bernadette.

Maria Semple: Tara, huge congratulations on The House Girl. How did this novel come into being?

Tara Conklin: Thanks, Maria. The novel began as a short story that I wrote about six years ago. I came across the term “slave doctor” in a book I was reading and the words made me stop. I became curious as to why a person dedicated to healing would take on such a role. From that initial spark of curiosity, I wrote a short story about a slave doctor, Caleb Harper, and two women appeared in his story. I say “appeared” because that’s really how it seemed to happen – Josephine and Dorothea just showed up and demanded my attention. I couldn’t stop wondering about these two characters and so I started writing separate stories about them, and I just kept writing.

MS: Josephine, a house slave in 1852 Virginia, became one of your narrators. The other, Lina, is a lawyer in present day New York. You practiced law before you became a novelist. Did Lina’s voice come easily by comparison?

TC: No, I actually found Lina’s sections tougher to get right. I think because Lina’s external world is more similar to mine, it was more difficult to imagine her – I kept bumping up against my own experience.

MS: That’s so surprising, that Josephine was the easier voice to get right.

TC: Josephine came to me very organically – I felt that I knew who she was and what she wanted early on in the writing. Her character was inspired by two people: one was an African-American artist named Mary Bell and the other was a former slave, Elizabeth Mumbet Freeman, who lived in my hometown during the 18th century. Mumbet said that if she could have one minute of freedom, only to die afterwards, she would make the trade. That strength of purpose helped me understand Josephine.

MS: While she's not a narrator, the character of Lu Anne Bell looms large over the story. She's quite mysterious and wonderful. I'm curious if she, too, is partly based on a real person.

TC: No, she is entirely fictional, but I’m glad that you thought otherwise! I wrote quite a bit of back story for Lu Anne that never made its way into the novel: her childhood in Mississippi, how she met Mister, why they fell in love. I see Lu Anne as an essentially tragic figure – I think she wants to break out of the world she’s been born into, but she can’t quite transcend it.

MS:You were born in St. Croix and grew up in Stockbridge, MA. Did growing up in these two vastly different environments influence you as a writer?

TC: Both places are steeped in history, so they’ve given me an appreciation for and curiosity about the past and how it helps shape the present. Both places also have substantial ties to slavery. I don’t remember much about St. Croix, but I grew up with my parents’ stories of the island’s racial tension, the horrible legacy of the sugar fields. When I was in elementary school in Stockbridge, I learned about the Underground Railroad and Mumbet (mentioned above), a slave who sued for her freedom in a Massachusetts court and won. These stories really stayed with me over the years.

MS: What are you reading now?

TC: I always have several novels on the go at once – right now I’m reading Zone One by Colson Whitehead, Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel and I’m re-reading A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley, one of my all-time favorites.

From the Back Cover:

Lina Sparrow is an ambitious young lawyer working on a historic class-action suit seeking reparations for the descendants of American slaves. Josephine is a seventeen-year-old house slave who tends to the mistress of a Virginia tobacco farm—an aspiring artist named Lu Anne Bell. Alternating between antebellum Virginia and modern-day New York, The House Girl is a searing tale of art, history, love, and secrets that intertwines the stories of two remarkable women.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Conklin, Tara
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks
ISBN 10: 0062207512 ISBN 13: 9780062207517
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Monky Business: briansmonky
(Worcester, MA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description William Morrow Paperbacks. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0062207512 Ask about discounted shipping available when multiple items are purchased at the same time. FAST, RELIABLE, GUARANTEED and happily SHIPPED WITHIN 1 BUSINESS DAY!. Bookseller Inventory # BX16-4014

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 2.52
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.40
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Conklin, Tara
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks (2013)
ISBN 10: 0062207512 ISBN 13: 9780062207517
New Softcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Book Deals
(Lewiston, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description William Morrow Paperbacks, 2013. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: The House Girl, the historical fiction debut by Tara Conklin, is an unforgettable story of love, history, and a search for justice, set in modern-day New York and 1852 Virginia. Weaving together the story of an escaped slave in the preCivil War South and a determined junior lawyer, The House Girl follows Lina Sparrow as she looks for an appropriate lead plaintiff in a lawsuit seeking compensation for families of slaves. In her research, she learns about Lu Anne Bell, a renowned prewar artist whose famous works might have actually been painted by her slave, Josephine. Featuring two remarkable, unforgettable heroines, Tara Conklin's The House Girl is riveting and powerful, literary fiction at its very best. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0062207512

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 9.71
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Conklin, Tara
ISBN 10: 0062207512 ISBN 13: 9780062207517
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
BWB
(Valley Stream, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: New. Depending on your location, this item may ship from the US or UK. Bookseller Inventory # 97800622075170000000

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 9.73
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Conklin, Tara
Published by Harpercollins (2013)
ISBN 10: 0062207512 ISBN 13: 9780062207517
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
Paperbackshop-US
(Commerce, GA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harpercollins, 2013. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # VC-9780062207517

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 7.32
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Conklin, Tara
Published by Harper Collins Publishers
ISBN 10: 0062207512 ISBN 13: 9780062207517
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
INDOO
(Avenel, NJ, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harper Collins Publishers. Book Condition: New. Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 0062207512

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 7.84
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.50
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Conklin, Tara
Published by HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States (2014)
ISBN 10: 0062207512 ISBN 13: 9780062207517
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 214 x 149 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The House Girl, the historical fiction debut by Tara Conklin, is an unforgettable story of love, history, and a search for justice, set in modern-day New York and 1852 Virginia. Weaving together the story of an escaped slave in the pre-Civil War South and a determined junior lawyer, The House Girl follows Lina Sparrow as she looks for an appropriate lead plaintiff in a lawsuit seeking compensation for families of slaves. In her research, she learns about Lu Anne Bell, a renowned prewar artist whose famous works might have actually been painted by her slave, Josephine. Featuring two remarkable, unforgettable heroines, Tara Conklin s The House Girl is riveting and powerful, literary fiction at its very best. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9780062207517

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 12.37
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Conklin, Tara
Published by HarperCollins Publishers Inc (2014)
ISBN 10: 0062207512 ISBN 13: 9780062207517
New Quantity Available: 6
Seller
PBShop
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, 2014. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # IB-9780062207517

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 8.48
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Conklin, Tara
Published by HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States (2014)
ISBN 10: 0062207512 ISBN 13: 9780062207517
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 214 x 149 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The House Girl, the historical fiction debut by Tara Conklin, is an unforgettable story of love, history, and a search for justice, set in modern-day New York and 1852 Virginia. Weaving together the story of an escaped slave in the pre-Civil War South and a determined junior lawyer, The House Girl follows Lina Sparrow as she looks for an appropriate lead plaintiff in a lawsuit seeking compensation for families of slaves. In her research, she learns about Lu Anne Bell, a renowned prewar artist whose famous works might have actually been painted by her slave, Josephine. Featuring two remarkable, unforgettable heroines, Tara Conklin s The House Girl is riveting and powerful, literary fiction at its very best. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9780062207517

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 12.48
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Conklin, Tara
ISBN 10: 0062207512 ISBN 13: 9780062207517
New Paperback Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
BargainBookStores
(Grand Rapids, MI, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 6925359

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 8.60
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Conklin, Tara
ISBN 10: 0062207512 ISBN 13: 9780062207517
New Softcover Quantity Available: 3
Seller
VNHM SHOP
(Pompano Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Softcover. Book Condition: New. New. This item is new unopened, never used and still in its original manufacturer condition. Tracking number will be provided to you so that you may track your order (for all USA orders). Bookseller Inventory # BAA-B-3634387

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 13.98
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book