The House Girl
Two remarkable women, separated by more than a century, whose lives unexpectedly intertwine.... The year is 2004: Lina Sparrow is an ambitious young lawyer working on a historic class-action lawsuit seeking reparations for the descendants of American slaves. The year is 1852: Josephine is a 17-year-old house slave who tends to the mistress of a Virginia tobacco farm - an aspiring artist named Lu Anne Bell. It is through her father, renowned artist Oscar Sparrow, that Lina discovers a controversy rocking the art world: Art historians now suspect that the revered paintings of Lu Anne Bell, an antebellum artist known for her humanizing portraits of the slaves who worked her Virginia tobacco farm, were actually the work of her house slave, Josephine. A descendant of Josephine's would be the perfect face for the lawsuit - if Lina can find one. But nothing is known about Josephine's fate following Lu Anne Bell's death in 1852. In piecing together Josephine's story, Lina embarks on a journey that will lead her to question her own life, including the full story of her mother's mysterious death 20 years before. Alternating between antebellum Virginia and modern-day New York, this searing tale of art and history, love, and secrets explores what it means to repair a wrong, and asks whether truth can be more important than justice.