Publisher: Random House Ballantine
Publication Date: 01/27/2015
My Rating: 5 Stars
From the acclaimed author of How to Be Lost and Close Your Eyes comes a beautiful and heartrending novel about motherhood, resilience, and faithâa ripped-from-the-headlines story of two families on both sides of the American border.
Alice and her husband, Jake, own a barbecue restaurant in Austin, Texas. Hardworking and popular in their community, they have a loving marriage and thriving business, but Alice still feels that something is missing, lying just beyond reach.
Carla is a strong-willed young girl whoâs had to grow up fast, acting as caretaker to her six-year-old brother Junior. Years ago, her mother left the family behind in Honduras to make the arduous, illegal journey to Texas. But when Carlaâs grandmother dies and violence in the city escalates, Carla takes fate into her own handsâand with Junior, she joins the thousands of children making their way across Mexico to America, risking great peril for the chance at a better life.
In this elegant novel, the lives of Alice and Carla will intersect in a profound and surprising way. Poignant and arresting, The Same Sky is about finding courage through struggle, hope amid heartache, and summoning the strength and no matter what dangers await to find the place where you belong.
A special thank you to Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
THE SAME SKY, by Amanda Eyre Ward is a riveting novel of a woman and a teen, a powerful journey of two souls which connect for a heartfelt novel of loss, faith, hope, and love. A story which will grab you and will linger long after the book ends.
Jake and Alice, live in Austin, Texas—a couple having given up on conceiving after ten long years. Alice, has come to terms with no longer being a mother and throws herself into work at her husband’s barbeque restaurant. They try the adoption route to once again end in a disappointment, among other things which is destroying the happiness in their marriage.
Carla Trujilio, thirteen years old is poor, and being raised by her grandmother in Honduras, with her four year old twin brothers. They have experienced poverty and life has not been easy, surrounded by violence. They long for a life in America with the American dream. A young girl with hopes and dreams she envisions for her life.
Her mother left when she as five years old, and sends money home Texas where she’s trying to make a better life for her family, but she only has enough to bring one son. When Carla’s grandmother dies, Carla decides to take her fate into her own hands and embarks on a dangerous journey across the border with Junior, the twin left behind.
Poor Carla’s journey is heartbreaking, as she walks and walks and hitches a ride on a freight train known as "The Beast," and endures pain and loss that makes her long for her simple life back home. On the Beast and in shelters along its rails, people traded stories about their experiences, discussing everything from bandits, robbers, and rape as she makes her way from Tegucigalpa to Texas.
Alternating between Carla and Alice, (which I enjoyed) readers will cry and weep for Carla for a poignant story of love and loss. Alice wants a baby and Carla longs for a life in America with her mother and family. As a girl, Carla dreamed of America, imagining lying down in a large green field, watching her mother unpack a picnic dinner. The basket would be filled with anything she could dream of, before she held her close to say she loved her.
Both a young girl and a mature woman, both under the same sky wanting a somewhat different. but really the same life. One of love and compassion. The love of a mother and daughter, and family. Ward holds off on the final intersection of characters until the end, making for a powerful ending.
This was my first book by Ward and was blown away by this thought-provoking story, as you feel the emotion and pain of the characters and you become invested in their happiness and survival. I have already chosen some of her books on audible, which I look forward to listening and reading more from this newfound and talented author.
The book hits home to all of us as Americans today, as we take for granted our lives, when so many immigrants are suffering through real poverty, as they attempt to flee to come to America through violence and danger, such as portrayed in this gripping novel
I have to agree with some of the other reviewers, I wished for one more chapter to allow readers to linger and bask in a few more moments of happiness.
THE SAME SKY would make for an ideal book for book clubs or group discussions.