THE SAME SKY: A Novel
By: Amanda Eyre Ward
Published: January 20, 2015
Publisher: Ballantine Books
timeliest book you will read this year…This one’s going to haunt me for a
long time.” I would have to agree with her. No matter what your political
views of immigration and poverty are, this is a book you must read. The story
it tells will leave a significant impact on your heart.
to Carla, a child living in horrible conditions with her grandmother and twin
brothers in Honduras. Carla’s mother is in Texas and sends money and American
clothes to help care for their needs. In the next chapter we follow Alice, wife
of Jake, who has just had their newly adopted baby taken away from them when
the birth mom changed her mind a day later. Jake and Alice are their 40’s
and are the owners of a famous BBQ in Austin, Texas. From the outside, they live
an idyllic life, except all they want is a baby and can’t have one.
and Alice’s despair and sadness. Carla just want to be WITH her mom and
Alice wants to BE a mom. After unbelievably horrible situations, Carla
continues to battle and stay strong. In weekly phone calls, she begs her
mother to come home and each time her mother declines, promising to send money.
At times I became so angry I wanted to scratch the mom’s eyes out for the pain
and heartache she was causing Carla. In one chapter, Carla and her brother are
living off of a paste of flour and water and her mother sends a beautiful party
dress for Carla. Carla states,
America. Her story of perseverance, faith, and hope was beyond amazing.
baby they thought was theirs, not realizing her husband is also grieving and
losing hope in their marriage. Alice takes on being a “Big Sister” to
a floundering teenager and believes that will help her fill the emptiness in
her heart. But a teenager isn’t a baby and her husband isn’t on board with this
new plan. After helping her sister through a devastating loss, Alice is able to
come to grips with her life and what may or may not lie ahead.
together, you won’t believe it and the emotions will pour out of you as you
realize that both of them never lost faith and all their pain and suffering was
worth it for this one moment.
shares the dangerous conditions thousands are willing to put themselves and
their families in just to reach their dream of living and working in America. Factories, dairy farms, construction firms, etc are constantly looking for laborers, even here in Iowa and immigrant workers seem to be the only ones willing to fill the need. After reading this story, I am looking at these families differently. Their children are in our schools and communities and I had never thought about the difficulties they left behind. Is living in America really their dream? Was it all they hoped it to be? Even if your beliefs are to send immigrants back to their homeland, you won’t
be able to deny the feelings Carla’s story will invoke and the realization that
all of us live under THE SAME SKY. Amanda Eyre Ward has told an important story
and one that should be read and discussed. I think this would make an excellent
choice for book clubs or classes studying sociology. It is the kind of book you
won’t forget. Amanda Eyre Ward is new to me, but I will definitely want to
check out her other books soon.
|Amanda Eyre Ward – source|
Amanda Eyre Ward is the author of five novels as well as a collection of short stories. She wrote THE SAME SKY after being introduced to a fellow mother at her child’s school who runs the local shelters for unaccompanied minors. Through her, Amanda started to visit the shelters and get to know the children. After hearing the incredibly harrowing, frightening, courageous and hopeful stories of their journeys to go to their mothers in the US, Amanda felt she had to write this novel.
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