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book review: "The Same Sky"...

Monday, February 22, 2016
...by Amanda Ward. Sweet story, even though I read it by listening to a set of seven CDs while driving to south GA and back the end of last week. Well written, to the point of possibly providing too much detail, about the life of a young girl growing up mother-less in Honduras. And a parallel story, told by young married woman living in Austin TX. The chapters went back and forth between the two, and caused considerable wonderment over how and when their lives would intersect.

The story of the  child living in extreme poverty in Honduras, with her grandmother and two younger brothers, voiced on the CD, by someone with an obvious Latino accent was heart wrenching. Painfully telling of the struggles those who have nothing in the way of resources manage to get through the day, finding scant food. Spending their time scrambling through other people's garbage, making daily treks to the dump, looking for both sustenance and something of value to sell for cash.
One of the younger brothers got hooked on glue sniffing, and left behind, as they made the hazardous journey.  It is a sad, though probably not uncommon story, of children desperately making plans to attempt escape by travelling the length of Mexico to cross into the U.S.: the land of opportunity. She endures a horrific experience as she makes the journey to Austin, hoping to reunite with her mother.

The young married woman has a charmed life, but has infertility problems and wants a family. Yearning for more, even though she is so fortunate, has so much to be thankful for: A good man, who runs a very successful business. The lives of these two finally mesh when the young Latino girl, after being raped on the train as she travels across Mexico, gives birth in Austin, and the child is given up for adoption. You guessed it: the young couple who desperately wanted a child had the opportunity to adopt that baby of the twelve year old who knew she could not provide a good life for her newborn.

It is was so sad, and disturbing, as I thought of how often this type thing must happen in real life. How many young girls, underage and unwillingly forced into sex, end up pregnant. And if they do not actually become impregnated by that forced manhandling, still suffer the mental, emotional and often physical damage/scarring for the rest of their lives.  Though it was fiction, the story of this young girl and her experience could easily be a straight from the evening news.

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