Young Carla and her brother, Junior, are among the poor families living in increasingly hostile Honduras. Carla’s mother has left them to work in America, and the small sums of money she is able to send occasionally, along with the support and love of the grandmother caring for them, allows her and her younger brother to eke by.
When their grandmother dies, however, things begin to fully fall apart. Food is scarce and Carla has begun picking through the local dump to find food for the two of them. But it’s when her younger brother begins to sniff glue to help relieve the constant pain in his belly and the devastation of their lives that Carla decides they must do what they can to get to America and join their mother.
Meanwhile, in Austin, Texas, Alice and Jake Harrison are becoming increasingly distressed about their inability to have children. Even their plans for adoption are not panning out. Their otherwise lovely life is being undermined by this developing hopelessness.
Moving back and forth from Carla and Junior’s heroic and horrific journey to America and Alice and Jake’s slowly disintegrating marriage, the reader gets a look at two very different takes on tragedy. It’s clear from the beginning that Carla and the Harrison’s lives will intersect, but they do so in a very surprising way.
This is an incredibly beautiful story of survival, resilience, and hope. It is a story for our times, and perfect for book clubs of all types.
The Same Sky by Amanda Eyre Ward. Ballantine Books, 2015.