Summary and book reviews of The Same Sky by Amanda Eyre Ward

The Same Sky

by Amanda Eyre Ward

The Same Sky by Amanda Eyre Ward
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2015, 288 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2015, 304 pages

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Book Summary

A beautiful and heartrending novel about motherhood, resilience, and faith - a ripped-from-the-headlines story of two families on both sides of the American border.

From the acclaimed author of How to Be Lost and Close Your Eyes comes a beautiful and heartrending novel about motherhood, resilience, and faith - a ripped-from-the-headlines story of two families on both sides of the American border.
 
Alice and her husband, Jake, own a barbecue restaurant in Austin, Texas. Hardworking and popular in their community, they have a loving marriage and thriving business, but Alice still feels that something is missing, lying just beyond reach.

Carla is a strong-willed young girl who's had to grow up fast, acting as caretaker to her six-year-old brother Junior. Years ago, her mother left the family behind in Honduras to make the arduous, illegal journey to Texas. But when Carla's grandmother dies and violence in the city escalates, Carla takes fate into her own hands - and with Junior, she joins the thousands of children making their way across Mexico to America, risking great peril for the chance at a better life.

In this elegant novel, the lives of Alice and Carla will intersect in a profound and surprising way. Poignant and arresting, The Same Sky is about finding courage through struggle, hope amid heartache, and summoning the strength - no matter what dangers await - to find the place where you belong.

1

Carla

My mother left when I was five years old. I have a photo of the two of us, standing in our yard. In the picture, my mother is nineteen and bone-thin. The glass shards on the top of our fence glitter in the afternoon sun and our smiles are the same: lopsided, without fear. Her teeth are white as American sugar. I lean into my mother. My arms reach around her waist. I am wearing a cotton dress, a dress I wore every day until it split along the back seam. When the dress fell apart, my grandmother, Ana, stitched it back together with a needle and thread. Finally, my stomach pushed against the fabric uncomfortably and the garment was just too short. By that time, my mother was in Texas, and for my sixth birthday she sent three new dresses from a store called Old Navy.

When I opened that box, it seemed worth it—growing up without being able to touch my mother, to press my face against her legs as she fried tortillas on the gas stove. One dress was blue-and-white striped; on ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

The Same Sky puts a human face on the recent stories of children crossing the border illegally - the desperation and brutality they experience. It reminds us that they are children who need our compassion and understanding.   (Reviewed by BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers).

Full Review (761 words).

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Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly

The ways in which Alice and Carla's lives intersect are too subtle until the final chapters, which, while poignant and bittersweet, feel rushed. Regardless, Carla's journey is powerfully rendered and will stick with readers long after they close the book.

Kirkus Reviews

Large amounts of dramatic material nudge the novel toward the sentimental, but it's pulled back by Ward's narrative skill. The spare tone adds urgency to the pacing and suggests a steely reserve on each protagonist's part. Earnest and well-told. Heartstrings will be pulled.

Author Blurb Jodi Picoult
The timeliest book you will read this year... This one's going to haunt me for a long time, and it's going to define the brilliant Amanda Eyre Ward.

Author Blurb Christina Baker Kline
Riveting, heart-rending, and beautifully written, The Same Sky pulled me in on the first page and held my attention all the way to its perfect conclusion. I devoured this book.

Reader Reviews

Beckyh

A sad, hopeful book
What a sad, hopeful book. No, that is not an oxymoron. This really is an excruciatingly sad book full of hope and faith. A young girl, left alone to care for her even younger brother, must lead them from crushing poverty in Honduras to their illegal...   Read More

Gretchen M.

Eye-Opening
He heartache of Alice and the terror and real-life horror experienced by Carla, a 12-year-old immigrant child, are depicted so expertly that you really feel for these characters as if you know them personally. I don't think I will ever have the same...   Read More

Laurin B. (Appleton, WI)

To Understand All Points Of View
From the first sentence I was mesmerized by The Same Sky. The well-paced story, alternating between Alice and Carla and the seemingly random (but strikingly rhythmic) mystery of how they are brought together, kept my heart fully engaged the whole ...   Read More

Janet P. (Spokane, WA)

The Same Sky
This book tells the story of a young Honduran girl, Carla, and her brother (with a mother in the US) and of a woman named Alice who lives in the US with her husband Jake. The story weaves back and forth between these two protagonists, leaving the ...   Read More

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Beyond the Book

Konrad Adenauer

We all live under the same sky, but we don't all have the same horizon.

Amanda Eyre Ward's novel The Same Sky takes its title from this quote, which is attributed to Konrad Adenauer, who was the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1949-1966. Who was this charismatic leader?

Konrad AdenauerKonrad Adenauer was born in Cologne, Germany on January 6, 1876. His family was hard working and lived simply, and he grew up believing in frugality, and dedication to work and religion. After practicing law for a number of years, in 1906 he successfully applied for and became a member of the Cologne City Council. During the First World War, Adenauer showed his creativity and ingenuity by organizing the food supply of the city (he set up large ...

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