Sunday, 25 January 2015
Author: Amanda Eyre Ward
Genre: Modern Fiction
Type: Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) e-book
Publisher: Ballantine Books
First Published: January 20, 2015
First Line: "My mother left when I was five years old."
Book Description from GoodReads: In this heartrending and poignant 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.
Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to Ballantine Books and NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary e-book copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
My Review: This was one of those books that surprised me. It has some rather heavy subjects that it addresses but also has a rather quiet feel to it as the reader gets an intimate look at both Carla and Alice's lives as they tell their stories in alternating chapters.
Both Carla and Alice's story lines focused on their daily struggles which were interesting and touching. Carla's story was emotional, raw and showed that a child could endure so much more than you'd expect. My heart went out to her as she struggled with what life (and her mother) left her to deal with. She was naive but courageous and ultimately risked everything in order to save herself and her brother.
Alice's story was, for me anyway, less interesting than Carla's. Maybe it was because I found her to not be as likable as Carla. Maybe that was because I wasn't fond of some of her choices - how she treated her husband, how she allowed Evian to take advantage of her repeatedly. I suppose Alice's struggles seemed to pale just a bit compared to Carla's because, while they were important to her, they weren't life threatening like Carla's. But on the other hand, if Alice's story was as dark as Carla's the book would have taken on too much of a somber tone.
While this book deals with some heavy subjects it also gives the reader a chance to step into two very different people's shoes and get a very intimate take on their personal struggles. Ultimately it is an emotional story that showcases how hope can endure in even the darkest of places.
My Rating: 3.5/5 stars