7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
"...what follows violence is always interesting.",
This review is from: Carry the One: A Novel (Hardcover)
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This is really quite a magnificent book. For a while, as I read, for I couldn't put it down, I thought, "I don't know if I really care about any of these characters." But I must have, finishing the book, relishing the experience of spending time with a group of exceptionally well-drawn, well thought out characters, all related by "accident." I think what pulled me in was the relationship, the family that included Carmen, Alice, and Nick...their relationship that grows, ebbs, grows from their remembered and common experiences as children, their love and their need of and caring for one another as life takes them in very different, sometimes satisfying, sometimes very dangerous and sad and destructive directions. Family does bind...it's the one common denominator for siblings, in spite of how they look back on and choose to remember how they were parented, how they were nurtured or not, loved or not; the course in life one follows, for better or worse, is so much determined by what our parents do to and for us and how, as we move into adulthood, we begin to reflect the positive and the negative of those expeeriences. I can so relate, in many ways, to the characters with which Carol Anshaw has peopled "Carry the One." Nick reminds me to some extent of my brothers Tom and John, now both deceased; I can understand and empathize and sympathize with Alice's dealing with her being gay, for I am gay; fortunately I didn't have as tortured a path to follow as Alice did, but I can understand her journey nonetheless. Carmen, Alice, Nick, Olivia...you aren't likely to forget them as you come to the book's end. And I've nothing but praise for Anshaw's use of the language and the manner in which she moves her story over quite a period of time. The book is an amazing accomplishment for the author. One can only wish her continued inspiration; this story, however, is going to be a tough one to top.