Carry The One by Carol Anshaw – 304 pages
Carry the One begins in the hours following Carmen’s wedding reception, when a car filled with stoned, drunk, and sleepy guests accidentally hits and kills a girl on a dark, country road. For the next twenty-five years, those involved, including Carmen and her brother and sister, connect and disconnect and reconnect with each other 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 each other 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.
My Review: 4 stars
Raw, honest and wonderfully flawed characters fill the pages of this cagey book. Every character had a story, within a story, within a story. Sibling relationships are paramount throughout the book however friendships, parental and spousal relationships, addiction and guilt are central themes in the book. Each chapter took on its own life and could possibly be read as short stories with one dependent on the other.
Title is a symbolic message throughout the book and the it also carries many meanings. Great book for discussion.