Vic's Reviews > Carry the One

Carry the One by Carol Anshaw
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Aug 18, 2012

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Read in June, 2012

This was an interesting book that kept me fully engaged.

Spoiler alert: The following discusses plot and characters.

The story is of a group of family members who were in the car when it hits and kills a 13 year girl. Nobody fully recovers bur each deals with it.

The accident is a nightmare. A group heads off at 3am following the wedding of one two sisters, Carmen. The driver was a druggie girlfriend, Olivia, of the druggie brother, Nick. Everybody knows that Olivia is high, but nobody stops her from driving off. Carmen yells but is not heard that she is driving with only her parking lot.

Alice is the most likeable character. She is a successful painter who deals with the accident by painting a series of paintings of the dead girl growing up, always in the same clothes. Her best paintings but never shown. Much of the story is looking for love. She is gay and always attracted to unattainable beautiful narcissistic women, but by the end settles down with someone less attractive but far more loving.

Carmen is the least developed family member. A political activist. After a first marriage, she settles down with a fairly boring, politically unaware man, who is good to her. Similar to Alice, maybe not so bad. The melding of the children, her son and his anorexic daughter, and Carmen’s coming to accept the girl is interesting.

The brother Nick is the most screwed up. A druggie who never escapes and then at the end dies the expected death. His part in the tragedy death of the girl is pretty horrific. High as a kite, he saw the girl in time to grab and turn the wheels of the car, but due to his highness just watched it play out. He repeatedly goes back and sees the girl’s mother who as she is dying of cancer, gives him forgiveness. But, he never pulls out.

The person who may have done best is the driver, Olivia. To pay for what she has done, she accepts a much longer prison sentence than required and completely reforms her drug ways. She pays a price for what she did. But, she never gets together with anyone, other than Nick, who she leaves immediately upon his starting back on drugs.

A good story. But, something about it made me feel like the story was more about the events than the characters. This is odd because the main point of the book is meant to be about how the death of the girl had an impact on each of them. But, I really did like the story.
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