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This book will be enjoyed by every parent; adoptive or paternal. You will feel joy from simple things which aren't as simple to all as they might be to you; joy from all types of accomplishments, adopting a puppy, creating delicious meals resulting in fame and fortune, accepting life's challenges without loosing faith in better things to come, knowing that there is always someone less fortunate than you and you can help them. And this book reminded me that happy endings happen every day whether or not we realize it.
I am horrible at reviewing books. So all I can say is that this one was very, very good. It might change how you feel about illegal immigrants, it might not. But this is a book about people in pain. It’s about difficult, selfish and selfless choices.Jake and Alice own an extremely successful barbecue restaurant. Carla is a 12-year-old Honduran desperate to make it to Texas where her mother lives illegally. Very early in the story it’s easy to figure out how their lives are going to intercept but watching how that happens is often difficult One thing I have against this book, is the the very frequent use of the F word. Intelligent authors can surely find more intelligent ways for their characters to express themselves.
This may be my favorite Amanda Eyre Ward story yet. The author loves to write about troubled characters who trip and stumble through life yet continue to move forward, and this is no exception. The story follows two very different people: a young girl growing up in the slums of Honduras, whose mother left for America when she was very young and sends money when she can, and a woman living in Austin, Texas, whose dream of being a mother were first dashed by cancer and then by the birthmother of the baby she and her husband adopted who changed her mind. As the despair of poverty, drug use and violence in Honduras grows, the young girl eventually sets off on a dangerous journey to America, hoping that she and her brother can reach their mother, while the woman in Texas seeks to find new purpose in her life through helping a troubled teen. The locations of each story play as big a part as the characters, and are just as clear and complex. A moving story of hope.
Amanda Eyre Ward is an excellent writer and I have read all of her books. I read this one shortly after Close Your Eyes. Wow! This book was so powerful, I can't even remember the plot of the former. This book is still in my mind. Carla is an incredible character and her story is hopeful and heartbreaking at the same time. One thing I've noticed about the author's writing is that she prefers to write in a format in which she covers events in different characters' lives and in the end of the book they come together. She has done this in many of her books and this is no exception. But at the end I could not help but think this was more Carla's story than Alice's. Alice's problems seemed pretty tame compared to Carla's. In usual fashion I tried to guess in what light the two would come together and guessed that Alice would adopt Carla. This book put a whole new light on the situation of 'unaccompanied minors'. Up until I read it, I thought of them as kids in Tijuana or somewhere near the border who's parents were caught at the last minute and left them to the mercy of a priest or organization. I had no idea that they were kids who set off on their own or came all the way from Central America and who's primary problems took place traveling through Mexico. Carla's experiences were so grim I began to think she was going to die. That would certainly be a plot twist to kill off the main character before the end of the book. She does live but at what expense and for what future. This book is incredible - sad at times but like Carla - always hopeful. Should be required reading in high schools in states with many undocumented immigrants. It really opens your eyes about these people and their plight.
I had a terrible time reading and then rating this book. Technically and story wise, it's one of the most honest studies of human life I have ever read. I probably read 5 or 6 other books while I was reading this one, because it's so depressing I kept putting it down, unwilling to read any more. Days later, I'd pick it up again, only to go through the same feelings of despair and shut it down again. If I were to base my rating on liking the story, it would definitely get one star, but just because I did not like the story or characters, doesn't mean that the author's talent in presenting the story should be negated. If you have to have a happy ever after with all the birds chirping gloriously at the ending, this isn't the book for you. If you don't mind the raw, unfettered grittiness of human life at it's most base level, you'll find few better books.
This book follows the story of several characters -- a young woman living in Mexico and her very sad struggles as she attempts to rejoin her mother in the US, a poor black teen in the US, and a cancer survivor whose fertility issues render her infertile. The book kept my interest, although seemed some what predictable in spots, but I did grow to like the characters and want to know what was going to happen to them. I didn't like the epilogue chapter, which actually took away from the book and did not seem to fit. Otherwise a good read.