The Same Sky by Amanda Eyre Ward

Cover of The Same Sky

Reviewing: The Same Sky
Amanda Eyre Ward
Ballantine Books, Imprint of Random House
Literature/Fiction (Adult), Women’s Fiction
January 20, 2015
Kindle edition, 288 pages

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.

Two heartbreaking stories set in strikingly different countries–America and Honduras. A little girl and a 40-year old woman with poignant, painful circumstances about which neither one knows how to resolve.

Amanda Eyre Ward has taken a young girl, Carla, feeling lost and lonely without her mother who has headed to America to make a living to provide for her daughter, four-year old twin boys, and her mother.

Ward paints an equally sad and arresting story of Alice Conroe, 40 years old with her biological clock wound down. Alice and her husband desperately want a child, and each attempt to adopt falls foul of success.

Alternating Carla and Alice’s stories in each chapter, the reader gains insight into two critical areas of life not always familiar to every individual.

Carla’s life in Honduras is one of seeking food in the garbage dump and living in fear of being attacked or murdered. It is no wonder these people take such chances to enter America, whether legally or illegally. And what they go through in their efforts to arrive here is unbelievable.

Alice’s dream of a child of her own seem to be defeated at every turn creating problems between her and her husband. And yet their love is strong enough to survive. Just as Carla’s determination for a better life provides for her survival.

I fell in love with both Carla and Alice, and I hoped they would become parent and child. But even better the comparison and contrast between the stories brought home with greater power the human will which carries us through times of despair, depression, want and immense need.

This is my first Amanda Eyre Ward read, and it will not be my last. Her writing is powerful and yet filled with bits of humor in Alice’s story, which is needed from time to time. Ward draws evocative pictures of her characters, real people, people you want to know.

RecommendationThe Same Sky is not an overly long book, and the story line moves quickly. If you want a well written, heart tugging book filled with the human longing we all share, The Same Sky would be a good book for you to pick up. Perhaps you have read Ward’s other books and if so, she has written a winner here.

Author Amanda Eyre WardAmanda Eyre Ward was born in New York City in 1972. Her family moved to Rye, New York when she was four. Amanda attended Kent School in Kent, CT, where she wrote for the Kent News.

Amanda majored in English and American Studies at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. She studied fiction writing with Jim Shepard and spent her junior fall in coastal Kenya. She worked part-time at the Williamstown Public Library. After graduation, Amanda taught at Athens College in Greece for a year, and then moved to Missoula, Montana.

Amanda studied fiction writing at the University of Montana with Bill Kittredge, Dierdre McNamer, Debra Earling, and Kevin Canty, receiving her MFA. After traveling to Egypt, she took a job at the University of Montana Mansfield Library, working in Inter Library Loan.

In 1998, Amanda moved to Austin, Texas where she began working on Sleep Toward Heaven. She wrote for the Austin Chronicle and worked for a variety of Internet startups. In 1999, Amanda won third prize in the Austin Chronicle short story contest with her story Miss Montana’s Wedding Day.

She published Butte as in Beautiful that same year.

Read more here …

You can purchase The Same Sky from the following retailers: AmazonBarnes & NobleBook PeopleiBooks, and IndieBound.

Thank you to NetGalley and Ballantine Books, an Imprint of Random House Publishing Group, for providing an ARC to me in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed are solely my own.


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