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Carry the One: A Novel Paperback – October 23, 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (October 23, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451656939
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451656930
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (210 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #113,391 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Her deftly episodic novel of love, time and off-beat family life is warm, generous and wise. An enormously engaging novel Daily Mail Carry The One is a finely crafted novel, full of phrases you want to cut out and keep, and characters you think you know. It is delicate in its touch, yet huge in its reach Observer Superb ... Anshaw sees her characters with startling clarity, an acute alertness to nuance, and no small helping of warmth and humour ... Anshaw's writing [is] subtle, bemused, kind and smart, she nails moment after moment ... Carry The One is a marvellous novel, grown-up, smart and emotionally intelligent about people who, like the rest of us, try but mostly fail to keep their ducks in a row -- Patrick Ness Guardian A tender tale of what happens to ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances Marie Claire Here's passion and addiction, guilt and damage, all the beautiful mess of family life. Carry the One will lift readers off their feet and bear them along on its eloquent tide -- Emma Donoghue Beautifully observed ... [Anshaw] intimately dissects how one event or choice can alter the trajectory of a life, how a fork in the road can lead to wholly unexpected and divergent outcomes -- Michiko Kakutani The New York Times A funny, vivid and pingingly true story about longing and the pain of love. Anshaw conveys beefy emotions and life-changing events with the most gossamer of touches -- Rachel Johnson Vogue Anshaw's understated, casual tone is made delightful with small details.Vivid images hit home with finishing flourishes ... Carry The One is an engaging narrative, eloquently told FT Carol Anshaw is one of those authors who should be a household name ... [a] fine, eloquent novel USA Today Superb ... [Anshaw] has a knack for capturing a personality in a single phrase Financial Times Moving and engaging ... Anshaw has written not only a funny, smart and closely observed story, but also one that explores the way tragedy can follow hard on celebration, binding people together even more lastingly than passion. -- Sylvia Brownrigg The New York Times Book Review Words used to praise Anshaw's earlier novels - witty, warm, intimate, poignant - apply equally well to her most compelling book yet, a wholly seductive tale of siblings, addiction, conviction, and genius ... Masterful in her authenticity, quicksilver dialogue, wise humour, and receptivity to mystery, Anshaw has created a deft and transfixing novel of fallibility and quiet glory Booklist A brilliant feat of storytelling ... one of the most intensely vibrant novels I've ever read Boston Globe Funny, touching, knowing ... a quiet, lovely, genuine accomplishment Publishers Weekly Splendid ... sits somewhere between a Jonathan Franzen novel and a collection of haiku Entertainment Weekly Anshaw is that rare, brilliant, witty writer whose prose is rich and buttery, and whose plotting is as well-conceived and seamlessly executed as that of the most intricate thriller Chicago Tribune If you love Jonathan Franzen, you'll love this compelling book Entertainment Weekly Graceful and compassionate ... Writing with rueful wit and a subtle understanding of the currents and passions that rule us, Anshaw demonstrates that struggling to do one's best, whatever the circumstances, makes for a life of consequence People A fine novel ... stunning ... wise TLS Anshaw submerges the reader in gorgeous detail Independent Carol Anshaw's writing is cool and funny, outraged and sympathetic by turns. The book is full of sharp observations and memorable phrases Literary Review Beautiful prose Independent on Sunday A series of beautifully detailed snapshots ... an arresting examination of three intersecting lives, forcefully told Telegraph --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Carol Anshaw is the author of Carry the One, Aquamarine, Seven Moves, and Lucky in the Corner. She has received the Ferro-Grumley Award, the Carl Sandburg Literary Arts Award for Fiction, and a National Book Critics Circle Citation for Excellence in Reviewing. She lives in Chicago.

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Customer Reviews

Will be recommending this read to my book club.
I seldom get bored by a book, but I could barely get to the end and when I did, I didn't feel much differently.
M. H. Bayliss
I felt like I wasted my evening reading this, and I regret the time spent finishing it.
Yolanda S. Bean

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Julie Merilatt VINE VOICE on March 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover
When I first read the Amazon product description of this book, "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," I was a little nervous. Is this going to be another treatment of I Know What You Did Last Summer, or worse, the insufferably boring Red Hook Road? To my great relief, it was really more about Carmen and her siblings Alice and Nick and their little Chicago-based (woot!) universe. As they orbit, their ellipses stretch them far from each other but bring them back together over the next twenty-five year years (this is a bit of a nudge at Nick's quasi-career in astronomy).

The accident itself is a mere shadow on the life of each individual involved, it does not dominate it. It subtly peeks at them during various stages of their lives, like artist Alice completing a series of paintings of the victim or Nick developing a relationship with the dead girl's mother as his own form of penance. The accident is not an excuse for their behavior or the outcome of their lives, but rather a factor in choices they made.

The writing itself was elegant and conveyed atmosphere. The conclusion outlined the paths that each character would continue down, but there was a lack of finality. I wouldn't call it unresolved, but open-ended in a way that let me know that the characters would continue on with their lives in the same vein that they lived them during the narrative. Overall, I felt it was a well-written character study that illustrated the interconnectedness of individuals and events effectively.

I won a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via BookRiot.
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34 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I want to say that I finished "Carry the one" in one sitting- but I didn't. Instead, I chose to savor it over the course of a few days. This is the kind of novel that you read, set down on your lap and just think. Think about what the words are really saying, what the meaning really is, how it applies to you. Now, I am not necessarily the deapest person and will take a mindbending thriller or YA dystopian novel over any of our great early literature. But this novel was so deep and spoke to me on so many levels, that I could not stop thinking about it.

The brief synopsis is above- a group of young people are affected by a small child that they hit and killed. The novels details their lives over many years and incorporate many huge historical events. This of this like Forest Gump- a fun detailing of real events told as a saga over many many years. But instead of funny Forest that did unbelievable things, this is a very believable story about a group of characters that I absolutely loved.

When I finished the novel, I actually said out loud- this is the bible for liberalists everywhere! I felt the urge to burn my bra and felt great to be an open minded woman. But then, I realized that that characterization might scare off the people that really should read it! Which is all of us. Liberal or conservative- if you open your mind and read this, you can relate to the characters. We are all detailed in this book in one way or another- regardless of social class, sexual preference, moral beliefs- this book detailed what we are at the core. Humans in search of love filled with vulnerabilities that want to do right.

Carol Anshaw, you did right by writing this book. It should be required reading.
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57 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie Brody TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Carry The One by Carol Anshaw has been touted as a book about a group of young people leaving a wedding stoned and drunk who run into a young girl, hitting her with their automobile and killing her. Supposedly, they carry her with them as their lives progress and that is how the novel gets its title. I didn't find the story like that at all.

There are several supporting characters in this novel but it is primarily about a group of three siblings, Alice, Nick and Carmen. Alice is a burgeoning artist who finds fame and fortune in the art world. Nick is a brilliant astronomer who is an addict and can never get out of his personal hell despite rehab after rehab. Carmen is a social activist who advocates for several liberal causes and runs a women's shelter. All of them go on in their lives occasionally remembering the dead girl, Casey Redman, but they don't `carry ` her with them most of the time.

Alice does do a series of paintings of Casey growing up, still dressed in the same outfit she had on when she was hit with an automobile. Mostly though, Alice is consumed with her passion for Maude and her career. Carmen occasionally thinks of Casey, but rarely. Nick wants to avoid his feelings through alcohol and drugs and regularly visits Casey's mother and occasionally Casey's father. He is the one who carries Casey's memory though it is blotted out of his consciousness by his addictions.

The story is interesting but filled with clichés and the style is somewhat minimalist. I enjoy rich characters and language which I found lacking in this book. While it is a book I finished it is not one that I'd recommend to my friends. There is something lacking and that is the meaning of the title. Casey is not carried by these people through their lives. She comes to them once in a while but they proceed along very nicely (except for Nick) without her.
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