The Same Sky by Amanda Eyre Ward
In this heartrending and poignant novel, award-winning author Amanda Eyre Ward tells the story of Alice Conroe, a forty year old Texas barbecue owner who has the perfect life, except she and her husband long for a child. Unable to conceive, she’s trying desperately to adopt but her destiny is quickly altered by a young woman she’s never met.
Fearless thirteen-year-old Carla Trujilio is being raised by her grandmother in Honduras along with her four year old twin brothers. Her mother is sending money home from Texas where she’s trying to make a better life for her family, but she only has enough to bring one son to her. 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.
Two powerful journeys intersecting at a pivotal moment in time: Alice and Carla’s lives will be forever and profoundly changed. Heartbreaking, emotional, and arresting, this novel is about finding the courage to trail blaze your own path in life with faith, hope and love, no matter the struggle or the tragedy.
This book sucked me in right away. I couldn’t remember much about the description when I started reading it. I only remembered that it was about immigration. The short chapters and alternating voices pulled me in, and I couldn’t put this book down. I flew through it in 2 nights. It’s short. Only 270 pages.
Alice is a woman in Texas desperate for a baby. She and her husband have tried everything, and most recently the birth mother changed her mind and took their son, Mitchell, away after one night. She is sad and broken and unable to share her grief with her husband.
Carla is a young girl growing up in Honduras in extreme poverty. Her mother has left her and her twin brothers behind with their grandmother. She went to Texas to work and send money back to the family. Carla yearns for her mother as she struggles to survive, trying to figure out how to escape to Texas to find her.
Both character’s stories were heart breaking, yet hopefully because I knew the two stories would come together in the end. Although the book didn’t end as I was expecting.
The writing was so compelling. Most of it was conversation, so it made for a very quick read. I liked Carla’s chapters best, and although they were hard to read at times, I was completely riveted.
If you like stories about strong female characters, coming of age type books, or tales of desperation turned hopeful, I highly recommend this book.
Warning: There is a lot of talk about Texas BBQ in this book as Alice and her husband own a restaurant. Do not read this book hungry. 😉
It occurred to me that so much of what I did–the cleaning, the futzing, the worrying about everyone I loved–was born of my childhood belief that if I kept in motion, I would not have to miss my mother. So much of what we all did, to be fair, was a valiant attempt to distract ourselves from the fact that we were going to die, and none of us knew when or how or what the fuck we should do with ourselves in the meantime.
My Rating: 4 stars