Carry the One

By Carol Anshaw
(Simon & Schuster, Hardcover, 9781451636888, 272pp.)

Publication Date: March 6, 2012

List Price: $25.00*
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the March 2012 Indie Next List
“Carmen and Matt's wedding was festive, full of dancing, drinking, and celebrating the joining of two lives. but for Carmen and Matt their wedding night would not be remembered solely with joy, but rather as the night a car full of their relatives and close friends headed out into the dark and accidentally killed a young girl on a lonely stretch of road. The occupants of that car and the wedding couple would be shackled by the guilt of that night for years to come. Carry the One examines the subtle shades of change this tragic accident causes in their lives. It is a compelling story of friendship, loss, betrayal, and life at its most real.”
-- Deon Stonehouse, Sunriver Books, Sunriver, OR


Carry the One begins in the hours following Carmen’s wedding reception, when a car filled with stoned, drunk, and sleepy guests accidentally hits and kills a girl on a dark country road. For the next twenty-five years, those involved, including Carmen and her brother and sister, craft their lives in response to this single tragic moment. 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 calamities and triumphs 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 each other than we’d expect. As they seek redemption through addiction, social justice, and art, Anshaw’s characters reflect our deepest pain and longings, our joys, and our transcendent moments of understanding. This wise, wry, and erotically charged novel derives its power and appeal from the author’s exquisite use of language; her sympathy for her recognizable, very flawed characters; and her persuasive belief in the transforming forces of time and love.

About the Author
Carol Anshaw is the author of "Aquamarine", "Seven Moves", and "Lucky in the Corner".

Thursday, Apr 5, 2012

In a new novel from Carol Anshaw called Carry the One, the repercussions of a single shared moment in her character's lives reverberates for years. Reviewer Alan Cheuse thinks the book plays out well in this review. Cheuse teaches writing at George Mason University. More at

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