Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Review: 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.

Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Expected publication: January 20th 2015 by Ballantine Books 
Genre: Fiction

Kristine's Thoughts:

I received an advanced readers copy from Ballantine Books via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! The expected publication date is January 20, 2015.

There were two reasons why I requested an ARC of this book.  The first reason was because of the synopsis itself. It sounded like it would be a fantastic and compelling read. The second reason was because I have been to Honduras and have seen the poverty first hand. I also watched a documentary a few years back about a boy who made it from Honduras to Vancouver by riding the rails, surviving the robbers, and hiding from immigration. In short, the subject matter held great interest to me.

The Same Sky is a very quick read. In fact, I was a little shocked at how quickly I got through it. It alternates between Alice and Carla's point of view and tells each of their stories. I was not at all surprised to find myself loving Carla's story. Her journey felt like my journey. I was however, a little disappointed in Alice's story. It was a little choppy and as much as I tried, I couldn't love the characters as much as I wanted to. There seemed to be a disconnect with the emotions and the relationship between Alice and her husband was odd and a little unnatural. Thankfully Carla's story more than made up for it.

The story is very simply written and easy to follow. I actually think that with a little more detail, Carla's story would have been better served as a stand alone. The other half of the story was not that necessary. It is a beautifully tragic story that will keep the reader engaged and in her corner. If not for Alice's story I would have liked the book a lot more and given it a higher rating. I do think that it is a story worth reading as it gives you a sort of "Cliff Notes" and simplified version of what happens on a daily basis in these poverty stricken countries.

About the Author
AMANDA EYRE WARD is the author of five novels as well as a collection of short stories. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and their two sons.

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