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A BEST BOOK of 2011 Amazon Editors’ Pick.
“Deborah Reed takes a long look at love in this graceful novel. The kind of love that ravages and lays waste to her characters, and the kind of love that might finally save us all.”—Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of Once Upon a River, and a National Book Award finalist for American Salvage
"Deborah Reed's novel, Carry Yourself Back to Me, marries gorgeous and wise prose with a can't-help-but-read-one-more-chapter plot. In it, Reed weaves a complex story of love and longing that's mysterious, intelligent and full of heart. She had me from page one." –Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild
"Deborah Reed writes with stunning precision and grace, and with great insight into the emotional lives of her characters. CARRY YOURSELF BACK TO ME is a suspenseful, entertaining and psychologically complex novel by a gifted new writer." –Andrew Porter, author of The Theory of Light & Matter (Flannery O'Connor Award) and In Between Days
"Written in lush prosaic language, Carry Yourself Back to Me is a study in the range and depth of human emotion, breathing new life into the story of love and loss through the experience of richly-developed characters as they navigate their complex relationships… Reed takes the reader on a narrative journey as lyrical and familiar as the saddest love song.”—PORTLAND BOOK REVIEW
“Reed [writes] beautifully, with a gift for revealing her characters’ pain and strength in equal measures.” —ORLANDO SENTINEL
“Highly recommended… One of the images Reed uses repeatedly and to good effect is that of things being scrubbed clean, refreshed, renewed with a clean(er) slate. And a version of that is what the reader feels upon finishing this book: the mind is filled, yes, but expanded. Reed nudges outward the mind’s corners, broadening the space to fit a new good story.” —BOOKSLUT
“This ain’t no simple love story. It’s more like the story of our lives, rendered up close and very personal. It’s also remarkably akin to how our lives have been put to song by traditional American troubadours, primarily of the Southern variety. That’s not to say Reed’s forlorn tale is the mere literary equivalent of a country song, mind you. But it isn’t very difficult to imagine Patsy Cline or June Carter Cash voicing the sentiments that make this such a compelling debut.” —SUN POST WEEKLY
"Carry Yourself Back To Me is a beautifully written, thoroughly engaging novel. Deborah Reed's prose is lyrical, elegant, and vivid--she is a standout among new American novelists." —Jessica Anya Blau, author of The Summer of Naked Swim Parties, and Drinking Closer to Home
"Deborah Reed has written here a novel peopled with real, flesh-and-bone characters—men and women both as good and delightfully flawed as our best friends, our spouses, ourselves. And the icing on this cake is Reed's lucid, lovely prose. Carry Yourself Back to Me is, simply, a pleasure to read." —Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum, author of This Life She's Chosen, and Swimming With Strangers
"Deborah Reed's novel, Carry Yourself Back To Me, tells the compelling story of long-held family secrets, romantic entanglements and a small town murder that starts it all unraveling. With deft humor and insight and a marvelous sense of pacing, Reed explores the limits of trust and loyalty, the enduring nature of family bonds, and the clash between illusions and truth in the quest for lasting love." —Jim Tomlinson, author of Things Kept, Things Left Behind (Iowa Short Fiction Award)
"Deborah Reed writes beautifully about the interlocking puzzles of romantic and family love, and the patterns that play out from generation to generation. While her protagonist is a master of the sad song, Reed achieves a symphonic effect–rich, intense and surprisingly joyful." —Dawn Raffel, author of Carrying The Body, and The Secret Life of Objects
"Gritty, lyrical, and suspenseful. The jealousies, desires, and hopes of the characters feel grippingly real. Reed has written a beautiful book." —Deborah Willis, author of Vanishing and Other Stories (finalist for the Governor General's Award)
"In her first literary novel, Reed (who writes suspense fiction under the penname Audrey Braun) triumphs with this thoughtful, graceful story of singer/songwriter Annie Walsh. Annie has recently been abandoned by Owen, her cherished lover, and taken refuge at her home in Florida. In addition to heartbreak, Annie must also contend with the troubles of her brother, Calder, who has been accused of a crime of passion. There is a lovely passage on snow, new to Annie, as well as moving account of her first attempt to sing since her world crashed. In a small bar on the eve of Christmas Eve, "she sings about the evening sky going dark, and the sound of her voice is warm and thick and bigger than the room. She sings about a tingle in her bones." The novel's tragedies are deftly drawn, and never maudlin. Readers will enjoy the novel's engaging characters, intricate plot, and beautifully rendered sense of place." --Publishers WeeklySee all Editorial Reviews
Good but not great. This book had a lot of similarities with Things we Set on Fire, another book by Deborah Reed. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Kindle Customer
Couldn't put it down. All the twist and turns..Made me cry, laugh and even get mad. Can't wait to read another one of Deborah Reed's book.Published 9 days ago by Cathy from Pa.
Rich characters; interesting plot and well written. I want to read more from this author. She understands complex emotions - how to get back home!Published 23 days ago by DHG
Had me hooked from the first page. One of those books I couldn't put down.Published 28 days ago by Tammy Shaw
I first learned about the author through the novel “Things We Set on Fire.” I loved that one so much that I immediately purchased “Carry Yourself Back to Me.” Ms. Read morePublished 1 month ago by MED
Great story that ended too soon. I have to admit that the end was a bit convoluted and did not fully explain who did the deed.Published 1 month ago by NinaS
Not that exciting or intriguing . Well written book but no surprise on the ending. Good story but boring at times.Published 1 month ago by Jan H.
Well written, sometimes a bit confusing, but I loved the story line. Caulders character seemed very realistic, as did Joshua. I really enjoyed the plot.Published 2 months ago by Judy