Carry the One begins in the hours following Carmen's wedding reception, when a car filled with stoned, drunk, and sleepy guests accidently hits and kills a girl on a dark country road. For the next 25 years, those involved, including Carmen and her brother and sister, connect, disconnect, and reconnect with one another and their victim. As one character says, "When you add us up, you always have to carry the one."
Through friendships and love affairs; marriage and divorce; parenthood, holidays, and the modest tragedies and joys of ordinary days, Carry the One shows how one life affects another and how those who thrive and those who self-destruct are closer to one another than we'd expect. Deceptively short and simple in its premise, this novel derives its power and appeal from the author's beautifully precise use of language; her sympathy for her very recognizable, flawed characters; and her persuasive belief in the transforming forces of time and love.
©2012 Carol Anshaw (P)2012 Tantor
“Splendid . . . seductive . . . vivid. . . . In sketches, landscapes, and erotic etchings, [Anshaw] carries not just one but all her characters through a quarter century of adulthood. And she makes the task look graceful.” (Entertainment Weekly, A)
"Anshaw has a deft touch with the events of ordinary life, giving them heft and meaning. . . . Funny, touching, knowing . . . a quiet, lovely, genuine accomplishment." (Publishers Weekly, Starred Review)
“Masterful in her authenticity, quicksilver dialogue, wise humor, and receptivity to mystery, Anshaw has created a deft and transfixing novel of fallibility and quiet glory.” (Donna Seaman, Booklist, Starred Review)
"Taste is subjective"... mine rejected this one after about 3 hours.
I could NOT get into this. I disliked it immediately (something I rarely feel). I found the characters almost repulsive with nothing even remotely likeable or interesting about the lot of them as they meandered through their lives...which seemed pointless--at least up to the 3 hour mark. I bailed, and am disqualifying myself from anything other than putting my honest opinion of an abbreviated experience in writing.
To possible readers--I'd suggest reading other reviews, listening to the sample provided, in making your choice.Carry the One must get exponentially better--because it has garnered great reviews everywhere, and I don't want to discourage anyone from a read that may become their very favorite flavor.
This book had such hype and such potential. It seemed the point would be how these people have been haunted by this horrible accident and the aftereffects changing their lives. These people started out messed up and continued to be messed up. How can you tell the accident changed their life? Also, didn't like the writing style at all. I hate wasting my points.
I guess I'm a baby...I just love to be read to.
Everyone's raving about this book but I just couldn't get into it. The story lines of the various characters really confused me and halfway through the book I realized I didn't know any of their names, who was related to who nor did I care about a single one...so I stopped, which I rarely do.
This is the story of 3 siblings who as young adults are involved to one degree or another in the accidental death of a 10-year-old child. They all carry her with them ('carry the one') as they grow into their lives. One, an artist, does her finest work painting "portraits" of the child as she grows through the life the artist imagines for her. Another, an asrophysicist, plunges deeper and deeper into drug abuse and despair. This was a richly imagined tale, and the narrator was superb. (She has a charming little lateral lisp, not always present, which gives her a youthful adorable-ness).
I have an aversion to books that start out "in medias res", in the middle of things, without any background, full of dialogue without context, and I feel like I am crashing a party, or that I've arrived at a party solo, without a "date" and knowing no one. This novel starts out that way, with a cohort of characters thrown at the reader, and I could barely digest one character's story before the narrative moved on to the next. So after reading Chapter One I promptly let go of this book and made another selection.
I later returned to it after reading many reviews from many sources, and seeing nothing else on this site that attracted me, am glad I gave it another try. I also needed to know the overall basic premise - the book's beginning in the center of a party in progress offered me nothing.
The various characters and the leftover, restructured, reworked angst from the original scene (don't want to spoil) is laid out in life stories, forming the basic structure of the novel. I think the format works, and I really did like that the life trajectories were far from clich??.
While I enjoyed the meandering because of the excellence of the writing, I can see how the lives of these characters would seem to other readers to be so deflated, non-relatable, the central figures simply unlikable.
The narrator is not one of my favorites, though others may like her. After a while, though, I became accustomed to her quirks and was able to let go and push through my dislike of Raudman's rolled "r"s and sibilant "s" sounds (does she have a lisp?).
Good but not great. And, a bit dialed up towards depression.
A journalist and a screenwriter for 20 years, now a playwright and a reader. I am an audible activist. I try to "enable" new listeners.
I started reading (listening to this book from audiobooks) when I was in Dubai recently for a short visit. I also found her book listed in The Week, upon my return home.
Since I was distracted by a lot in Dubai, as I walked and photographed faces and places I had never seen, I got lost a lot in the first part of the book. This made it all the more enjoyable.
I kept restarting it and listening again to the story in different parts, and the words kept giving me new pictures to envision and new phrases that gave me a singular view of a character, an experience, a spiritual view, and a connectedness of of the lives of many people I know, and might have known. This is a book to read again and enjoy for a long time. I keep wanting to jot down crystal phrases of feelings. Many thanks, Carol, for giving us this story of love and mystery.
Ann Declue, MD
Falling Waters, WV
The author showered her characters with grace, and it made a lovely read. Enjoyed the sense of humor in the narrators voice.
This is a very good book with an interesting story.
Nick. He's super intelligent but always winds up in trouble.
beautifully written and engrossing
Carmen, the "change the world" integrity she held throughout her life
I started a few books but lost interest and it was difficult to finish. this was not the case here. The author writes with a vivid prose and chooses unique analagies. At a few times it felt a little pretentious and too much, but then it moved into admiration and appreciation for her unique way of sharing a persons thoughts and visions of life as life unfolds in front of us. I hated that it ended. I could of listened to this author talk about 5 more people. Not even any paticuliar story, just the way she shares the way people see and experience life. It has stayed with me.
I could not get into this book. I found the start of the book cluttered with too many characters that was hard to keep straight throughout the book. I had to keep asking, which one was this again? I think the writer could have had a good story but unfortunately the first 7 chapters barely mentioned the story line with the outcome of taking the life of the child. I read this book in my book club and of the five of us in the club, all of us felt the same way.
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