Sunday, December 16, 2012

Carry The One by Carol Anshaw

Our lives all contain momentous minutes.  Minutes when our world changes, sometimes joyfully, sometimes tragically.  Moments when a decision made echoes down the years following.  Carry The One is about such a minute.

The book follows the lives of three siblings, Carmen, Alice and Nick.  Their momentous moment happens after Carmen's wedding to Matt.  After the reception, everyone piles into a car, too high to be driving but full of bravo and a belief in their invincibility.  As the careen through the night, suddenly there is a young girl running across the road.  They hit her and she dies at the scene. 

Over the years following, the siblings continue to live their lives.  They fall in an out of relationships, start and end careers, try to find meaning in their lives.  Regardless, that one moment has ensured that they will always be different, that they will always 'carry the one'.

Anshaw has created a stunning novel.  The story is told in brief vignettes, flashes of their lives that carry the book forward through the decades.  The story is tightly plotted but the flash of each scene hides the complexity of the skill it has taken to create this work.  I heard a lot of buzz about this book, and it is definitely well deserved.  Carry The One will be on many Best of 2012 lists.  This book is recommended for readers interested in how life works, how our decisions influence what happens afterwards.  It is an excellent book by an excellent author.

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