Monday, March 13, 2017

The Same Sky by Amanda Eyre Ward (audiobook)

genre: adult fiction

The Same Sky is told in alternating viewpoints: Alice, a Texas bbq restaurant owner and Carla, a twelve year old living in Honduras with her grandmother and twin little brothers.  Worlds apart, in so many ways, but they both long for what they can't have.  For Carla, she wants her mother, she wants enough food to eat and to feel safe in her home.  For Alice, she wants a child, with a longing so fierce it might break her.

How can we move forward when we don't have what we want most?  At the heart of this really moving story, both Carla and Alice have to decide if they are brave enough to either move forward into the terrifying unknown, or to be still and accept an incredibly painful reality, both of which require a kind of bravery you can only find if you dig deep inside yourself.  This is a story of poverty, the kind that is hard to imagine and read about.  It's a story about what you are willing to do to make a dream come true. It's raw, at times - especially Carla's storyline.  Her life made me ache, it made me go online and read about if people really and truly do live this way.  And they do.  It makes me sympathetic in a way that feels almost embarrassing, needing to acknowledge how privileged of a life I have.

And Alice - I felt her pain too.  I liked her arc as a character and I believed in her voice and while sometimes her decisions were frustrating, I got it.  I feel like I have SUCH a better appreciation for the desperation one must feel to try and leave your home and come to America - and a better appreciation of the courage it takes to make the journey.  I like how this is also a Texas story - I'd recommend it to anyone looking for an emotional and meaningful book about this unique area where cultures are colliding and especially for someone interested in the plight of the undocumented.

I listened to the audio and the voices of both Carla and Alice were really well done.  My only complaint is that sometimes Alice would backtrack - like, in the middle of a conversation she'd tell us a different story from her past before zipping back to the present and it was sometimes jarring.  But, in the end, I found myself really feeling for their characters and I did have a few tears of both sadness and joy.

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