CARRY THE ONE CAROL ANSHAW PDF

Though hardly similar, Nick, Alice and Carmen are passionately loyal to one another, and it is their bond, more than the crash, which forms the emotional spine of the book. The siblings are carefully observed and vibrate with veracity. Astronomer Nick is brilliant and pathetic, a star about to supernova. His use of recreational drugs as a tool to find intellectual nirvana descends into incoherent addiction. Alice, whose growing success as a painter threatens their artist father, is a lesbian comfortable with her sexuality, something still depressingly rare in mainstream fiction.

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A very good book is not only more satisfying, memorable and coherent than its lesser neighbors on the shelves. That wary inhalation as you take in the first lines — Will I believe in these characters? How distracted will I be by implausible dialogue, or forced plotlines? Only a few hours later, horror descends.

Within minutes, the car strikes a year-old girl who emerges from nowhere onto the darkened road. She dies soon after. The others, though hurt, are not badly injured. Olivia will spend several years in prison; the rest continue their lives bearing different kinds of scars.

This heartbreaking event gives Anshaw a starting point and a through line for her portrait of this small group of characters, particularly the three siblings. Alice, a gifted painter, has a tormented off-again-on-again relationship with Maude. Her finest pictures are a series of the dead girl, imagined at older, unlived ages.

For Matt, the moral stain on their marriage left by the car accident will eventually prove too hard to bear. The sisters settle in Chicago, where most of the novel is set with colorful excursions to Amsterdam and Paris. Anshaw draws from their intertwined lives a rich account of parenthood and family life, some nice sex scenes — Alice remains irresistible to many women, her amorous encounters described with great wit and urgency — and an affecting depiction of sibling love.

The deep connections among Alice, Carmen and Nick spring in part from their shared upbringing by cruel, narcissistic parents, but Anshaw wisely plays down these details. By that point, Nick, forced by Alice to watch live coverage of the twin towers falling, is so drug-addled that he wonders what movie his sister has flipped on. You know — pioneer folkways. That someone was Ralph Fiennes. There is, of course, the haunting sadness the characters continue to feel about the lost girl.

When you add us up, you always have to carry the one. As he continues to struggle against the dark suck of addiction, we see vividly how degraded a person of great talent and heart can become, and how helpless that leaves the people who love him.

But I found myself wishing Carol Shields were also still around to read it. I think she would have enjoyed a work of fiction that has so much in common with her own: both she and Anshaw give readers the reward of paying close, forgiving attention to ordinary people as they illuminate flawed, likable characters with sympathy and truth.

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A very good book is not only more satisfying, memorable and coherent than its lesser neighbors on the shelves. That wary inhalation as you take in the first lines — Will I believe in these characters? How distracted will I be by implausible dialogue, or forced plotlines? Only a few hours later, horror descends.

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C arol Anshaw's superb Carry the One opens in , with a wedding and a tragedy in quick succession. The wedding of Carmen and Matt is a pleasantly raucous affair, held outdoors at a bohemian farm in rural Wisconsin. Folk songs are loudly sung, and as a pleasant haze of alcohol and pot permeates the evening, Carmen hopes, with only a little apprehension, "to sit out this early phase of her marriage, the mortifying dances segment". Carmen's brother and sister have both momentarily slipped away from the proceedings.

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Carry the One by Carol Anshaw: review

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