Suzette Kendall is a workaholic heart surgeon. Husband, Hyland Kendall is an unhappy architect. Both agreed not to have children, because Suzette has terrible memories of growing up with a mentally ill mother, and doesn’t want to take any chances with her genes. But Hyland lost his parents and sister in a car accident when he was 11 and has never given up his desire to have children.
In Amada Eyre Ward’s new novel, THE NEARNESS of YOU (Ballatine)Hyland is able to persuade Suzette to hiring a surrogate and that’s when they meet Dorothy “Dorrie” Muscarello. 21-year-old, Dorrie plans to use the $35,000 fee to escape her sad existence feeding penguins at Sea-O-Rama and pursue a college education. Once pregnant, Dorrie realizes she doesn’t want to give the baby up to the Kendall’s and she skips town.
Twists, turns, a jump in time and soon, we readers find ourselves bedside with a nearly-dead, Dorrie lying in a hospital room with two women and a man standing over her.
“Which of you is her mother?” asks the nurse, but nobody seems to be able to answer the question.
The narrative alternates between the character’s perspectives, as Ward explores the meanings of motherhood from the first hello to the possibility of saying good-bye. THE NEARNESS of YOU explores the connections we form, the families we create and the love we hold most dear.
Amanda 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. She studied fiction writing at the University of Montana receiving her MFA. After traveling to Egypt, she took a job at the University of Montana Mansfield Library. From there she moved to Austin , Texas and several other locations before settling back in Austin and continuing to write novels including, UNDER THE SAME SKY, which has been optioned for a film.
You can contact Amanda on Facebook, twitter @amandaeyreward or her website http://www.amandaward.com
Thanks to NetGalley for providing a copy for an honest review.