Friday, January 9, 2015

The Same Sky

The Same Sky: A Novel

The Same Sky by Amanda Eyre Ward

Wow.  I could not put this down.  This is the story of two that represent the many. 

        Carla lives in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. When the story begins, she is eleven years old, living with her grandmother and twin toddler brothers.  Carla’s mother “made it” to the U.S. to find work so she could send money back home. Carla begins telling her story “My mother left when I was five years old.”   Times are very hard, there is little money,  poor housing, no plumbing, no schools, gangs, crime a constant fight for survival.  There are two ways to escape.  Try to make a run for the border or sniff glue.

        After Carla’s grandmother dies, desperation turns to desperate acts and Carla and Junior, her remaining brother, make a run for the U.S. border to get to their mother in Austin, Texas. 

        Alice lives in Austin, Texas with her husband, Jake. They share ownership of a barbecue restaurant that is renowned in Texas.  Alice is also struggling to survive.  She had cancer, a double mastectomy and cannot have the children they both desperately want.  Alice’s story begins with an adoption gone wrong which leaves her and Jake gasping.  In her attempt to find a focus for her displaced maternal instincts, she agrees to mentor one of the troubled teens from the local high school. 

        This story is told in alternating chapters: Alice. Carla. Alice. Carla. Alice. We can almost understand and identify with Alice’s struggle.  We can see ourselves in her somewhere. We might even know her.  But not so Carla’s story.  We see on the news the story of children being sent to or escaping to the U.S. to live and try to find work.  Carloads of them.  Truckloads.  Frightened, hungry, drifting, lost children.  But do we really know what the journey of these mere children, is?

       I wasn’t sure how, if or when the lives of Alice and Carla were going to intersect.  The author probably fed clues but I was so engrossed in Carla’s story I wasn’t looking for clues, I was absorbing the story.

We lead very sheltered lives.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Denice we sure do! That is why reading does expand our horizons and empathy, if we are open to it. But at the same time, all our stories are interesting, all our everydays have some experience to share. We can all inspire.