Carry the One

  • by Carol Anshaw
  • Narrated by Renée Raudman
  • 9 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Carry the One begins in the hours following Carmen's wedding reception, when a car filled with stoned, drunk, and sleepy guests accidently hits and kills a girl on a dark country road. For the next 25 years, those involved, including Carmen and her brother and sister, connect, disconnect, and reconnect with one another and their victim. As one character says, "When you add us up, you always have to carry the one."
Through friendships and love affairs; marriage and divorce; parenthood, holidays, and the modest tragedies and joys of ordinary days, Carry the One shows how one life affects another and how those who thrive and those who self-destruct are closer to one another than we'd expect. Deceptively short and simple in its premise, this novel derives its power and appeal from the author's beautifully precise use of language; her sympathy for her very recognizable, flawed characters; and her persuasive belief in the transforming forces of time and love.


What the Critics Say

“Splendid . . . seductive . . . vivid. . . . In sketches, landscapes, and erotic etchings, [Anshaw] carries not just one but all her characters through a quarter century of adulthood. And she makes the task look graceful.” (Entertainment Weekly, A)
"Anshaw has a deft touch with the events of ordinary life, giving them heft and meaning. . . . Funny, touching, knowing . . . a quiet, lovely, genuine accomplishment." (Publishers Weekly, Starred Review)
“Masterful in her authenticity, quicksilver dialogue, wise humor, and receptivity to mystery, Anshaw has created a deft and transfixing novel of fallibility and quiet glory.” (Donna Seaman, Booklist, Starred Review)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Carry On...Without Me

"Taste is subjective"... mine rejected this one after about 3 hours.

I could NOT get into this. I disliked it immediately (something I rarely feel). I found the characters almost repulsive with nothing even remotely likeable or interesting about the lot of them as they meandered through their lives...which seemed pointless--at least up to the 3 hour mark. I bailed, and am disqualifying myself from anything other than putting my honest opinion of an abbreviated experience in writing.

To possible readers--I'd suggest reading other reviews, listening to the sample provided, in making your choice.Carry the One must get exponentially better--because it has garnered great reviews everywhere, and I don't want to discourage anyone from a read that may become their very favorite flavor.
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- Mel

Like A Documentary - In A Good Way

I have an aversion to books that start out "in medias res", in the middle of things, without any background, full of dialogue without context, and I feel like I am crashing a party, or that I've arrived at a party solo, without a "date" and knowing no one. This novel starts out that way, with a cohort of characters thrown at the reader, and I could barely digest one character's story before the narrative moved on to the next. So after reading Chapter One I promptly let go of this book and made another selection.

I later returned to it after reading many reviews from many sources, and seeing nothing else on this site that attracted me, am glad I gave it another try. I also needed to know the overall basic premise - the book's beginning in the center of a party in progress offered me nothing.

The various characters and the leftover, restructured, reworked angst from the original scene (don't want to spoil) is laid out in life stories, forming the basic structure of the novel. I think the format works, and I really did like that the life trajectories were far from clich??.

While I enjoyed the meandering because of the excellence of the writing, I can see how the lives of these characters would seem to other readers to be so deflated, non-relatable, the central figures simply unlikable.

The narrator is not one of my favorites, though others may like her. After a while, though, I became accustomed to her quirks and was able to let go and push through my dislike of Raudman's rolled "r"s and sibilant "s" sounds (does she have a lisp?).

Good but not great. And, a bit dialed up towards depression.
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- Pamela Harvey "glam"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-06-2012
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio