“Keeping me – and all those like me – out of America was an important operation, I could see. I felt despised, a cock roach.” Carla
Timely, difficult and controversial subjects such as immigration and American privilege are at the heart of Amanda Eyre Ward’s new novel, THE SAME SKY(Ballantine Books).
Carla is a five year-old girl existing in poverty and constant danger in Tegucigalpa, Honduras with her grandmother and brother. Carla’s own mother lives, works and calls from Texas every Wednesday at 12:45. She also sends clothes and money back to the local Western Union. Carla dreams that one day her mother will send enough dollars so she and her brother, Junior can join “Mami” in America.
Alice and Jake are US citizens, college educated and they own their home and business. Alice wants more than anything to be a mom. Her husband Jake makes the best BBQ in all of Texas – it’s going to be featured in Bon Appetit. They’re living the American dream, but no matter what they do, they can’t have a baby and start a family.
THE SAME SKY is the story of two very different women wanting what we all desire and deserve, the ability to pursue our happiness in a safe environment. I won’t discuss my political views here, but Ward’s novel will have you thinking about yours. It’s a very relevant book and raises important issues in today’s heated landscape, especially as we begin a new Congress.
The novel alternates between Carla and Alice’s narratives. The reader is taken on Carla’s journey once her grandmother dies and it’s no longer safe for her to stay in Honduras. She and her brother make the trek to the USA on foot and via the train known as “The Beast” – where a now twelve-year old Carla is raped and nearly killed.
Alice and Jake have all the advantages of being Americans, but after spending their lives savings on IVF and it not working, they adopt a baby. On the day of the adoption, the baby’s mother takes the child back. Their dream is crushed, but will they survive this setback in “pursuit of their happiness?”
Ward’s writing is beautiful and at times, the novel will break your heart. Amanda Ward lives in Austin, Texas and knows the people she’s writing about. This is a rich multi-layered story that will be a wonderful addition for book clubs.
This review was first published in January when THE SAME SKY was published in hardcover.
There are so many wonderful books being published. Be sure to support your local bookstores and libraries. Enjoy!