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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Carry the One by Carol Anshaw

I read this book because it was on the New York Times 2012 Notable Book list, and I really liked it--so much so that I will seek out other books that the author has written.

There are five main characters that we follow are linked by a single event.  Carmen and Matt's wedding is at a rural farm in the middle of nowhere, and five people who are leaving together, all in various stages of intoxication, are in a car that hits and kills a young girl.  They stop, attempt to resuscitate her, alert the proper authorities, and the driver, Olivia, goes to jail.  Carmen's two siblings, Nick and Alice, Matt's sister Maude, and a friend Tom all live with this traumatic event over the years, and the book is about how each and every one of them copes with trauma.  None of them have a traditional PTSD, so it is a fresh and interesting approach.

First of all, this is not a dreary, sad, or difficult book. Lots of relationships begin and end, don't get me wrong, but it is more matter of fact than a downer.  The characters each have things that they learn and things that they are adversely affected by as a result of being involved in the death of a child, which is how it happens when you have a healthy resolution of a trauma.  Very nicely done.

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