Friday, March 31, 2017

The Nearness of You by Amanda Eyre Ward | A Book Review

The Nearness of You by Amanda Eyre Ward | A Book Review iamnotabookworm

I received a good news yesterday but it wasn't exactly what I wanted. I am grateful but I just wished it was more. Well, beggars can't be choosers but I have waited for this news to come for so long. It felt like forever and I was shocked and a bit sad when it came. I was dumbfounded and couldn't believe it. It was like almost but not quite. Long story short, I said yes. I took it hoping there is a reason why this is what was given to me. Hopefully, far greater things than I ever imagined will come from it. Nothing is finalized yet and maybe, if I keep praying hard for it, it will be just as I have terribly wanted. I actually wish I could have a do-over. Rewind the events that happened yesterday and I will handle the situation differently so the outcome would be exactly as I have longed for. Life...oftentimes you will have to make lemonade out of lemons not the margaritas you crave.

This book is quite similar to what I have experienced yesterday. Sorry for the outburst. I just want to take that out of my chest. I can actually fill the whole post of my ramblings. Anyway, this book is about some decisions or events that we have no control of. Events that just went out of our hands and we are watching them unfold with our eyes open, too shocked and paralyzed to do anything about it. Exactly what I lived through yesterday. This book is about women. The pains and the strength needed to withstand the pains only women experience. This is also about motherhood. The pains and joy of motherhood. Of the hardships of trying to fulfill that calling.

The Nearness of You is a story of three women --Suzette, Dorothy and Eloise. Suzette a successful heart surgeon who doesn't want to have a baby because she doesn't want to pass on the mental illness her mother had to her children. Dorothy, the surrogate mother who volunteered to carry Suzette's and Hyland's fertilized embryo. Eloise, Suzette and Hyland's daughter who was delivered by Dorothy. These three women's lives are more entangled than they thought they were. Dorothy's connection to Suzette and Eloise did not stop until she gave birth and give up the kid, it went farther and deeper than that which what this whole story is. 

Stepping into the shoes of each of the three characters, I found that each person's convictions are valid and very reasonable. Suzette's fears are not unfounded and baseless. Being a medical practitioner and a brilliant one at that, she doubtlessly knows that her fears could very likely happen. She needed to put an end to the cycle of mental illness in her family by bearing the sacrifice. Dorothy, out of her desperation and the need to escape her current life, signed up to be a surrogate mother. Little did she know that she signed up way far more than she was paid for. And Eloise, the tie that bind between the two other women that could never be severed. It was Eloise that will eventually bring healing and closure to all the unresolved business between Suzette and Dorothy. All these women and the rest of the lives involved in their circle will finally live the rest of their good lives with a better understanding of what happened and will move onward to the future with large smiles.

I really love women's literature. Stories of strong and invincible women. Strong and resilient women who follow their hearts and come out greater for the heartbreaking decisions they had to face in their lives. I too want to be inspired by these women. That maybe I could gain wisdom from their difficult experiences. I too have my own struggles, like every other person in this planet and we all could use all the help we can get. 

This story will hit you right at your core. This will turn you heart into a melting puddle. Aching and disintegrating into liquid goo. What these three women have gone through could very well happen in real life. It might be that some woman in some city or small town is living through the same scenario as we speak. Like Suzette, juggling her successful career with taking care of a kid. Attending parent-teacher conferences, recitals, soccer games or cheer leading competitions, etc. Trying with her every breath to be a mother, a wife and a surgeon, along with some other roles demanded of her. Dorothy, keeping a low profile and not draw attention to herself and her family. Making the most out of a very hard and poor past to care for the people she value most. Trying to make good of the present to pay for the shortcomings she had made in the past. And Eloise, a teenager in the threshold of great possibilities yet unable to face them because something is holding her back. Something is niggling her to do something. To find answers to questions that she's scared to ask. To find the person who brought her into the light of the world. To find that connection that keeps her restless until she has rekindled it. 

And then, there was also Jayne, the little girl Dorothy crossed path with who was far mature and stronger than her measly young age. She also had a difficult and sad life. She and Dorothy found friendship, strength and family in each other. 

I love this story. I give this 4.5/5 hearts. All these strong women are worthy of emulation. They had been through a lot and they came out of the dark holes of their past with courage and strength they thought they never had. My only wish was that there should have been more in the ending. I wished it showed how the rest of the characters were after the meeting and the revelation. I wanted to see Eloise reconnected with one of the important persons in her life. I wanted to know how it turned out knowing there's another part of her that is alive and living. 

After this story, I want to know more of Amanda Eyre Ward. I want to know what other stories she has to tell. I will have to start hunting her books. Nice meeting you Miss Ward. What a great story.

Don't be the change, be the dollar.
- Amanda Eyre Ward, The Nearness of You -  

Thanks again, Netgalley for the copy of this book.