Book Review: The House Girl by Tara Conklin

The House Girl

Lina Sparrow, an upcoming lawyer, is assigned to what the firm assumes will be THE slave reparation law suit. In her search for the ‘perfect’ person to be the face of their lawsuit, she discovers Josephine, a house slave on a moldering Virginia plantation in the 1850s. You jump from Lina to Josephine and back again, but the writer, Tara Conklin, does an excellent job in her transitions between the two.

As another review mentioned, for a book about race and slavery, there was very little description of skin tones and colors, pretty much we are given “pale” and “dark”.

As for the ending , opinions differ; some people think it’s perfect, others think it doesn’t have enough details to sum up Lina’s story.

With that said, I would still give it a solid 4 stars book, as shown on It was a quick and enjoyable read that gave me a new view on an old topic. To sum up the description of this lovely book, here are some reviews about the book that the author marked as “Must Read”:


“Tara Conklin’s wise, stirring and assured debut tells the story of two extraordinary women, living a century apart, but joined by their ferocity of spirit. From page one, I fell under the spell of THE HOUSE GIRL’s sensuous prose and was frantically turning pages until its thrilling conclusion.” – Maria Semple, author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette

“There’s so much to admire in THE HOUSE GIRL – two richly imagined heroines, two fully realized worlds, a deeply satisfying plot – but what made me stand up and cheer was the moral complexity of these characters and the situations they face. I’m grateful for this transporting novel.” – Margot Livesey, author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy

“THE HOUSE GIRL is a heartbreaking, heartwarming novel, ambitious, beautifully told, and elegantly crafted. Tara Conklin negotiates great vast swaths of time and tribulation, character and place, with grace, insight, and, simply, love.” – Laurie Frankel, Author of Goodbye for Now and The Atlas of Love

“THE HOUSE GIRL stands as both a literary memorial to the hundreds of thousands of slaves once exploited in the American South and a mellifluous meditation on the mysterious bonds of family, the hopes and sorrows of human existence, and the timeless quest for freedom.” Corban Addison, Author of A Walk Across the Sun

“THE HOUSE GIRL is a rarity, a novel that succeeds in fulfilling the highest of aspirations. The juxtaposed stories of a slave girl in 1852 and a lawyer in 2004 combine to create a beautiful examination of freedom, identity, family, desire and obligation. This work is absorbing, enthralling, stimulating and provocative and almost guaranteed to be read in one sitting.” – Bill Cusumano, Nicola’s Books

Valentina Teodora Dumitrache

Beauty and Leisure Journalist

I am a current student, enrolled in the BA Marketing and Management Communication program at Aarhus University. Likewise I am a lover of the finer things in life and would describe myself enthusiastic art critique/ amateur. In addition to this, I like to observe the things around me: people, surroundings, places, services and goods. And I am happy to share my experiences with others in order to increase awareness, and to provide a truthful opinion without any lies. P.s. I love chocolate. And heels.

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