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In this profound and lyrical novel, acclaimed author Amanda Eyre Ward explores the deeper meanings of motherhood - from the first blissful hello to the heart-wrenching prospect of saying goodbye.

Brilliant heart surgeon Suzette Kendall is stunned when Hyland, her husband of fifteen years, admits his yearning for a child. From the beginning they'd decided that having children was not an option, as Suzette feared passing along the genes that landed her mother in a mental institution. But Hyland proposes a different idea: a baby via surrogate.

Suzette agrees, and what follows is a whirlwind of candidate selections, hospital visits, and Suzette's doubts over whether she's made the right decision. A young woman named Dorothy Muscarello is chosen as the one who will help make this family complete. For Dorrie, surrogacy (and the money that comes with it) are her opportunity to leave behind a troubled past and create a future for herself - one full of possibility. But this situation also forces all three of them - Dorrie, Suzette, and Hyland - to face a devastating uncertainty that will reverberate in the years to come.

Beautifully shifting between perspectives, The Nearness of You deftly explores the connections we form, the families we create, and the love we hold most dear.

Praise for Amanda Eyre Ward's The Same Sky

"After reading The Same Sky, you just might view the world a little differently. And isn't that the goal of all great art?" - Bookreporter

"Riveting, heartrending, and beautifully written." - Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train

"Deeply affecting." - People

"Wrenching, honest, painstakingly researched." - Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Small Great Things

"Emotionally gripping." - The Dallas Morning News



About the Author

Amanda Eyre Ward

ABOUT AMANDA
Amanda Eyre Ward was born in New York City in 1972. Her family moved to Rye, New York when she was four. Amanda attended Kent School in Kent, CT, where she wrote for the Kent News.

Amanda majored in English and American Studies at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. She studied fiction writing with Jim Shepard and spent her junior fall in coastal Kenya. She worked part-time at the Williamstown Public Library. After graduation, Amanda taught at Athens College in Greece for a year, and then moved to Missoula, Montana.

Amanda studied fiction writing at the University of Montana with Bill Kittredge, Dierdre McNamer, Debra Earling, and Kevin Canty, receiving her MFA. After traveling to Egypt, she took a job at the University of Montana Mansfield Library, working in Inter Library Loan.

In 1998, Amanda moved to Austin, Texas where she began working on Sleep Toward Heaven. She wrote for the Austin Chronicle and worked for a variety of Internet startups. In 1999, Amanda won third prize in the Austin Chronicle short story contest with her story Miss Montana's Wedding Day.

She published Butte as in Beautiful that same year.

In July, 2000, Amanda married the geologist Tip Meckel in Ouray, Colorado.

They spent a summer in New Orleans, Louisiana, where Amanda wrote the short stories The Beginning of the Wrong Novel and Classified.

During that summer, Amanda finished Sleep Toward Heaven, which was published in 2003. Sleep Toward Heaven won the Violet Crown Book Award and was optioned for film by Sandra Bullock and Fox Searchlight. To promote Sleep Toward Heaven, Amanda, her baby, and her mother Mary-Anne Westley traveled to London and Paris.

Amanda moved to Waterville, Maine, where she wrote in an attic filled with books. Amanda's second novel, How to Be Lost, was published in 2004. How to Be Lost was selected as a Target Bookmarked pick, and has been published in fifteen countries.

After one year in Maine and two years on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Amanda and her family returned to Austin, Texas.

To research her third novel, Forgive Me, Amanda traveled with her sister, Liza Ward Bennigson, to Cape Town, South Africa. Forgive Me was published in 2007.

Amanda's short story collection, Love Stories in This Town, was published in April, 2009.

Her new novel, Close Your Eyes, will be published in July, 2011.

Amanda currently writes every morning and spends afternoons with her two young boys.



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