By: Amanda Eyre Ward

Published: January 20, 2015

Publisher: Ballantine Books


Best-Selling author, Jodi Picoult has said, “This is the
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.
In alternating chapters we are introduced
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. 
Each chapter shares more details of Carla
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,
“When would I wear such a
What did my mother think my life was
You could not eat a dress.” 
A series of events leads Carly to finally, at just eleven years old, pack up and make the dangerous trek to
America. Her story of perseverance, faith, and hope was beyond amazing.  
Alice continues to grieve the loss of the
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. 
When Carla and Alice’s story come
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. 
This story of Carla’s trek to the border
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.

She lives in Austin, Texas with her family.  For more, visit her website, HERE. You can also find her on Facebook, HERE, and Twitter, HERE.

To purchase a copy of THE SAME SKY, click the photo below:

Thanks to Random House for sending an eBook for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. I was not compensated in any way for this review. If you choose to purchase this book through the above link, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. Thanks for supporting reviews.
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  1. bermudaonion on January 20, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    You've convinced me to move this book out of my TBR purgatory and put it on my nightstand. I hope I can get to it soon.

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