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The Same Sky

de Amanda Eyre Ward

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
2674576,719 (3.84)5
"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. Advance praise for The Same Sky "The Same Sky is the timeliest book you will read this year--a wrenching, honest, painstakingly researched novel that puts a human face to the story of undocumented youth desperately seeking their dreams in America. When I finished, all I wanted to do was write my congressional representatives and tell them to read it, ASAP. This one's going to haunt me for a long time--and it's going to define the brilliant Amanda Eyre Ward as a leading author of socially conscious fiction."--Jodi Picoult "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."--Christina Baker Kline"-- "In this novel, award-winning author Amanda Eyre Ward tells the story of Alice Conroe, a forty year old Texas barbecue owner who has the perfect life, except she and her husband long for a child. Unable to conceive, she's trying desperately to adopt but her destiny is quickly altered by a young woman she's never met. Fearless thirteen-year-old Carla Trujilio is being raised by her grandmother in Honduras along with her four year old twin brothers. Her mother is sending money home from Texas where she's trying to make a better life for her family, but she only has enough to bring one son to her. When Carla's grandmother dies, Carla decides to take her fate into her own hands and embarks on a dangerous journey across the border with Junior, the twin left behind. Two powerful journeys intersecting at a pivotal moment in time: Alice and Carla's lives will be forever and profoundly changed. Heartbreaking, emotional, and arresting, this novel is about finding the courage to trail blaze your own path in life with faith, hope and love, no matter the struggle or the tragedy"--… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 46 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Authors new book reviewed by NYT, this story sounded more interesting and had great Amazon reviews.

But. Although I read this quickly - the book isn’t long, and it’s broken into short chapters that swing between characters Alice and Carla - it was not very satisfying.

For me, it introduced a lot of interesting themes or situations, and really addressed very few of them. Especially for Alice. Does how she accepted cancer in her life influence how she deals with the problems of infertility and adoption failure? Was this affected by her mother’s death, her father’s nature, her sister’s life (and how she deals with the genetic cancer trait). Isn’t it contradictory that she is so in top of the cancer thing and seriously does not mentally prepare to handle Evian? It’s hard to say whether she has a communication issue with her husband - sometimes they seem to have problems, and other times not, like it’s okay to sweep it under the rug.

For Carla, it wasn’t so much an abundance of themes, it was more of the ‘reliance on God’s will’ that will save me that was unsatisfying. Maybe for an 11 year old that simplicity of hope and acceptance (instead of any kind of preparedness and planning) that is reasonable. It was a pretty big contrast to the Alice chapters though.

Maybe that’s what bothers me. There were a lot of great themes in this book, and they weren’t really resolved. Carla is rescued by Ernesto and then her mom. She gives up her baby and voila that solves the problem for Alice and Jake. All the other problems are still out there - being an illegal, Alice's relationship with her family, Evian. ( )
  BeckiMarsh | Mar 6, 2020 |
Alice is a middle-aged woman in Austin, Texas, married to Jake Conroe, of the famous Conroe's BBQ. Their marriage is happy and fulfilled but for one glaring lack: they have no children. Surrogates failed them; adoption has failed them; at the book's opening, they've just had an especially heartbreaking failure. Baby Kellan was in their home for a day and a night when the birth mother changed her mind. Alice and Jake's different ways of coping with this latest loss is putting some strain on their relationship.

Carla is a young Honduran girl whose mother has gone to the US to earn money and send it back to her family, leaving Carla and her younger brother with her own mother. When her grandmother dies, Carla, not yet twelve herself, struggles to protect herself and her brother in their increasingly dangerous, gang-controlled village. In the end, she decides she has no alternative but to take her brother on the dangerous journey to join her mother in Texas.

They tell their stories in alternating sections, relating what are for each of them the mundane details and incredible challenges of their daily lives, as well as the complex and sometimes confusing relationships they are a part of. Alice and Carla each become very real people, and I felt connected to each of them and to the people they care about. Austin is a place I and many other Americans have been, but Ward's writing makes the village of Tegucigalpa as real and present, and we feel Carla's love for and connectedness to her home as well as the fear and grief of what it is becoming.

We also experience Alice's complicated relationships with Jake's family, and her own, in both cases compounded by her childlessness. Jake's parents very much wanted grandchildren; Alice's sister Jane has three children and feels a little overwhelmed.

These two stories come together in an ending that is both satisfying and thoroughly earned.

Highly recommended.

I received a free electronic galley of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. ( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
I so enjoyed this book. It's the story of two lives intersecting on their own trajectories of loss, love, pain and hope. It shows how everything is related, how everything affects everything else, how much alike we all are in our profound differences. Faith and hope are the same for us all. ( )
  enemyanniemae | Mar 25, 2018 |
Excellent book told through alternating characters. I enjoyed the diversity of parallel stories that showed the stark contrast between two lives in different parts of the world. The author gave humanity to the issue of immigration that is often left out in political rhetoric. ( )
  readwritelearn | Mar 10, 2018 |
Not really sure why the author chose to have two stories. Alice is a 40ish woman in Austin, Texas, who has been unable to have children. An adoption has just fallen through. So she and her husband are stuck, out of money, and with a hole their potential child leaves behind. As Alice grieves for this loss, she and her husband drift apart. She ends up mentoring a troubled teenage girl who has little to no parental supervision and is likely to face a life of bad choices and an inability to escape her upbringing.
 
Carla is a 10 year old girl in Honduras with her grandmother and twin brothers. Her mother is in Texas, sending money and clothes and gifts while she can, as well as saving up money for smugglers to bring her children over the border. As time passes, one of her brothers is successfully smuggled to the US, leaving Carla with her other brother Junior and their grandmother who is in fragile health.
 
Thus we see two very different stories that will come together only at the very end. Carla decides, after the death of her grandmother, that she and Junior must leave Honduras, especially in the wake of increasing gang violence. In a journey faced with long, exhausting walks, violence, theft, rape, Carla and Junior make their way towards the United States in the hopes for a better life.
 
Meanwhile, Alice is facing trying to mentor Evian, and is totally under prepared for dealing with a troubled teenager. Throw in the fact that her sister Jane is pregnant and that a magazine wants to a spread on Alice and husband Jake's amazing BBQ restaurant and it is quite messy.
 
Like what many reviewers have said, Carla's story is the much stronger and poignant one. The book jacket clearly notes the author spoke to immigrant children and it clear she did her research to write this story. Alice's tale becomes increasingly tedious--while I felt for her at first, her story got old rather fast. Her husband seemed to be right: his wife was trying to fill the emptiness with Evian and perhaps animals too. And I just found I couldn't relate to her more and more as the story went on.
 
I also didn't particularly like how Alice seemed to have issues with boundaries: she brings home Evian to sleep on the couch, which Jake is not happy with (I wouldn't be happy with some random stranger on my couch either!). Alice insists on visiting her sister Jane in Colorado despite being told by Jane's husband that right now Jane doesn't need visitors, just family ("I am family!" Alice replies and tells him she'll see him soon). While the husband might not be a very nice man anyway (and strictly speaking she is family), this just totally rubbed me the wrong way. Especially as in the end, it all seems to rather conveniently work out.
 
This goes for Carla too. Her life seems to significantly improve once she reaches the US, despite not speaking a word of English (or very, very little). Which is not to say that does not happen, but some significant plot points that happen along the way either end up very conveniently solved (which ties hers and Alice's story together) or somehow get completely swept away. That's it? It seemed rather unbelievable as a development and I couldn't quite understand the point, unless the author was trying to underscore what happens to families that try to make the trip together.
 
I had a *very* hard time understanding how both Carla and her mother (and Carlos) seemed to accept this particular event, and the author seems to brush this and other developments as "God's will," "it's what God wants," and other very similar sentiments. It was too easy to wipe away things with that. I respect that both Alice and Carla are from religious families and religious areas. But the fact that God is spoken in about repeatedly in the *exact* same manner, whether in Texas, Colorado, Mexico or Honduras, it's just sloppy, lazy and obnoxious.
 
The book is written in alternating views, but I would say it's actually completely possible to just read Carla's chapters. Without giving too much away, Alice's story really isn't affected by Carla's (and vice versa) and I think this would have been *much* better if the author had actually just written about Carla, and left Alice as a secondary character. I actually wonder if Alice is a character that would somehow help bring the book to a wider audience (middle-aged woman unable to conceive) vs. the story of a young immigrant girl who is trying to cross the border illegally. Because the more I think on it, the more I think it really should have been just Carla's story.
 
A MUCH better book about immigration, family and more with a similar structure (except told in multiple viewpoints instead of two, and not all the vignettes are tied together with some more than others) would be The Book of Unknown Americans: A novel by Cristina Henríquez
 
Skip this one.
 
 
  ( )
  HoldMyBook | Feb 11, 2018 |
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"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. Advance praise for The Same Sky "The Same Sky is the timeliest book you will read this year--a wrenching, honest, painstakingly researched novel that puts a human face to the story of undocumented youth desperately seeking their dreams in America. When I finished, all I wanted to do was write my congressional representatives and tell them to read it, ASAP. This one's going to haunt me for a long time--and it's going to define the brilliant Amanda Eyre Ward as a leading author of socially conscious fiction."--Jodi Picoult "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."--Christina Baker Kline"-- "In this novel, award-winning author Amanda Eyre Ward tells the story of Alice Conroe, a forty year old Texas barbecue owner who has the perfect life, except she and her husband long for a child. Unable to conceive, she's trying desperately to adopt but her destiny is quickly altered by a young woman she's never met. Fearless thirteen-year-old Carla Trujilio is being raised by her grandmother in Honduras along with her four year old twin brothers. Her mother is sending money home from Texas where she's trying to make a better life for her family, but she only has enough to bring one son to her. When Carla's grandmother dies, Carla decides to take her fate into her own hands and embarks on a dangerous journey across the border with Junior, the twin left behind. Two powerful journeys intersecting at a pivotal moment in time: Alice and Carla's lives will be forever and profoundly changed. Heartbreaking, emotional, and arresting, this novel is about finding the courage to trail blaze your own path in life with faith, hope and love, no matter the struggle or the tragedy"--

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