Customer Reviews for

Carry the One

Average Rating 3
( 44 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(5)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(11)

1 Star

(10)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Moving and compassionate portrayal of difficult subject matter.

Moving and compassionate portrayal of difficult subject matter. The writing is exceptional.

posted by Anonymous on March 20, 2012

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

1.67 Stars The premise of Carry the One is simple and s

1.67 Stars

The premise of Carry the One
is simple and so very promising. Carol Anshaw begins her story ” in the hours following Carmen’s wedding reception, when a car filled with stoned, drunk, and sleepy guests accidentally hits and kills a gir...
1.67 Stars

The premise of Carry the One
is simple and so very promising. Carol Anshaw begins her story ” 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, connect and disconnect and reconnect with each other and their victim. As one character says, ‘“When you add us up, you always have to carry the one.’”
However, my hopes for the novel were quickly dashed. I expected a good character driven story along the lines of those told by Joyce Carol Oates and Jodi Picoult because tragedies affect individuals so very differently. Some people may be so guilt ridden that they may carry their guilt to the extreme and self destruct, while others are driven to lead lives devoted to helping others while losing their own identity in their efforts.

But Anshaw focuses primarily on Carmen, Nick, and Alice. Through each sibling’s point of view the reader sees each going through varying stages of their lives without much thought to ten year old Casey Redman. Though Alice paints the little girl each year in the same clothes she wore the night she was killed as Alice thought she would be, Anshaw failed to explore the artist’s need to paint the child. Alice’s visit to the home where Anne Frank hid for 2 years was a missed opportunity given Alice’s reaction to both dead girls. Anshaw was more interested in Alice’s relationship with Maude (Matt’s sister). The sex scenes between the two women were very uncomfortable to read.

Carmen did not seem affected by the accident throughout her life. She never mentioned the accident and rarely commented when one of the nine “so called” friends commented upon it. Yet, Matt used the accident as a reason for the dissolution of their marriage; the other was he wanted “someone more Catholic.
the attitudes of both Carmen and Matt I dare say reflected those of the author and as a Catholic myself was very offensive. Annulment is a long process that begins at the pastoral parish level and ends at the Papal level. The reasons given by the author for their Annulment is not among the 5 conditions that the Church considers declaring a marriage null. Also, Carmen’s journey toward radial activism is really not Catholic either. The scene at the Women’s Center, while dramatic, did not ring true to me, since I’ve never seen any violence during annual prayer vigilances I attend protesting the Roe v. Wade decision – my only activist action. Anshaw depicts her as strong woman, but she gets so very overwhelmed as a single mother, she has Carmen dressing Gabe in his school clothes at bed time so he would be ready when he awoke. What right minded woman, liberal or not, would do such a thing?

Nick’s story rings true to the novel’s premise. He is the most affected by the tragic accident, other than the actual driver, Olivia. Nick is brilliant, but hopelessly addicted to drugs. His struggle with his addiction and his secret guilt is the most interesting of all of the characters. He marries Olivia, visits Casey’s parents, and fights his brilliance out of that guilt through drugs and alcohol. We know the end of his struggles as they are beginning. Yet, Olivia is completely epigamic. She spends time in federal prison not for her role in Redman’s death, but for the undelivered mail the Police found in the trunk of her car. She comes out of prison hard and isolated, accepting punishment for the child’s death. She further atones for sin by deciding to have children. Why the author chose to place Olivia at the beginning and end of the novel is baffling, since she was integral to the story’s premise. Also, Olivia was one of the more interesting characters.

Carry the One
was really the three siblings’ story. A coming of age story really about the effects of an abusive father and a not so present mother that really formed their choices in life, rather than how a tragic event changed their lives. Their characters were caricatures rather than three dimensional. Anshaw’s writing was superb most of time with a few misses here and there. Her strong attitudes were present throughout the story, and I found them to be heavy handed, not entertaining at all. Good writing does not make a good book, but perhaps as a more conservative Catholic plebeian I am not her target audience.

posted by Molinarolo on March 14, 2012

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 44 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 3
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2012

    1.67 Stars The premise of Carry the One is simple and s

    1.67 Stars

    The premise of <i>Carry the One</i>
    is simple and so very promising. Carol Anshaw begins her story <i>&rdquo; in the hours following Carmen&rsquo;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, connect and disconnect and reconnect with each other and their victim. As one character says, &lsquo;&ldquo;When you add us up, you always have to carry the one.&rsquo;&rdquo;</i>
    However, my hopes for the novel were quickly dashed. I expected a good character driven story along the lines of those told by Joyce Carol Oates and Jodi Picoult because tragedies affect individuals so very differently. Some people may be so guilt ridden that they may carry their guilt to the extreme and self destruct, while others are driven to lead lives devoted to helping others while losing their own identity in their efforts.

    But Anshaw focuses primarily on Carmen, Nick, and Alice. Through each sibling&rsquo;s point of view the reader sees each going through varying stages of their lives without much thought to ten year old Casey Redman. Though Alice paints the little girl each year in the same clothes she wore the night she was killed as Alice thought she would be, Anshaw failed to explore the artist&rsquo;s need to paint the child. Alice&rsquo;s visit to the home where Anne Frank hid for 2 years was a missed opportunity given Alice&rsquo;s reaction to both dead girls. Anshaw was more interested in Alice&rsquo;s relationship with Maude (Matt&rsquo;s sister). The sex scenes between the two women were very uncomfortable to read.

    Carmen did not seem affected by the accident throughout her life. She never mentioned the accident and rarely commented when one of the nine &ldquo;so called&rdquo; friends commented upon it. Yet, Matt used the accident as a reason for the dissolution of their marriage; the other was he wanted <i>&ldquo;someone more Catholic. </i>
    the attitudes of both Carmen and Matt I dare say reflected those of the author and as a Catholic myself was very offensive. Annulment is a long process that begins at the pastoral parish level and ends at the Papal level. The reasons given by the author for their Annulment is not among the 5 conditions that the Church considers declaring a marriage null. Also, Carmen&rsquo;s journey toward radial activism is really not Catholic either. The scene at the Women&rsquo;s Center, while dramatic, did not ring true to me, since I&rsquo;ve never seen any violence during annual prayer vigilances I attend protesting the Roe v. Wade decision &ndash; my only activist action. Anshaw depicts her as strong woman, but she gets so very overwhelmed as a single mother, she has Carmen dressing Gabe in his school clothes at bed time so he would be ready when he awoke. What right minded woman, liberal or not, would do such a thing?

    Nick&rsquo;s story rings true to the novel&rsquo;s premise. He is the most affected by the tragic accident, other than the actual driver, Olivia. Nick is brilliant, but hopelessly addicted to drugs. His struggle with his addiction and his secret guilt is the most interesting of all of the characters. He marries Olivia, visits Casey&rsquo;s parents, and fights his brilliance out of that guilt through drugs and alcohol. We know the end of his struggles as they are beginning. Yet, Olivia is completely epigamic. She spends time in federal prison not for her role in Redman&rsquo;s death, but for the undelivered mail the Police found in the trunk of her car. She comes out of prison hard and isolated, accepting punishment for the child&rsquo;s death. She further atones for sin by deciding to have children. Why the author chose to place Olivia at the beginning and end of the novel is baffling, since she was integral to the story&rsquo;s premise. Also, Olivia was one of the more interesting characters.

    <i> Carry the One</i>
    was really the three siblings&rsquo; story. A coming of age story really about the effects of an abusive father and a not so present mother that really formed their choices in life, rather than how a tragic event changed their lives. Their characters were caricatures rather than three dimensional. Anshaw&rsquo;s writing was superb most of time with a few misses here and there. Her strong attitudes were present throughout the story, and I found them to be heavy handed, not entertaining at all. Good writing does not make a good book, but perhaps as a more conservative Catholic plebeian I am not her target audience.

    5 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2012

    Moving and compassionate portrayal of difficult subject matter.

    Moving and compassionate portrayal of difficult subject matter. The writing is exceptional.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2012

    Great start then fizzled

    I was a little disappointed in this book. I finished it but just because I wanted to see if anything interesting was going to happen after the great start. The premise was a good one but it felt disconnected- like there were too many separate stories going on that connected in some way but didn't feel connected. Some of the different story lines were boring and forced. It wasn't horrible, just blah. I wouldn't recommend it.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 28, 2013

    Horrible book! I had high hopes for it, but it was so disjointed

    Horrible book! I had high hopes for it, but it was so disjointed and I ended up not even caring about the characters. Don't even waste your $4.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2012

    Hated it, but had to see how it ended.

    Main character is a lesbian and I felt that the author was overly obsessed with her sexual relationships. It was unblanced and unfocused.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2012

    I read this book as a book club selection. For me it was akin to

    I read this book as a book club selection. For me it was akin to watching the movie Leaving Las Vegas. It is okay to leave early, as staying for the ending did not enhance the experience. The format of the story telling, and story ultimately, was just not my cup of tea.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 28, 2012

    I did not enjoy this book.

    It took until page 140 before I became the tiniest bit invested in the characters and only finished because it was for a bookclub.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2012

    Quietly Powerful

    Carmen, Alice, and Nick are siblings who, together with some others to whom they are connected, must always "carry the one"--a ten-year-old girl who was hit and killed by a carful of stoned, drunk, or dazed guests to Carmen's wedding, driven by Nick's stoned wedding date, Olivia. Time forces the siblings, Olivia, and others connected to the tragedy to move forward, but the tragedy naturally effects their ability to do so.

    I really enjoyed this quietly powerful novel. I suppose one could just read it as just a story of what happens to these people on the surface, but I think the author is encouraging the reader to think about more complex themes. In particular, I think she is wrestling with the myriad ways in which we are connected to others, and the meaning of both a life, and those it touches. Each of us matters, to varying degrees, perhaps, and at different moments, to others, and I think this novel is gettting at the ways in which that truth is both thrilling, and frightening--as much as the opposite thought: that we might not matter at all. How do we live with that complexity, that mess, that rush, that warmth?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I have read glowing reviews of Carry the One that don't match up

    I have read glowing reviews of Carry the One that don't match up to my experience of reading it. I was immediately captivated by the story and the writing but felt the tale devolved into disconnected bits. The difficult upbringing of the three siblings felt tacked on. By the end, the characters are relating to so many external things rather than the heart of the characters and their relationships. For example, Carmen sits through a tedious dinner party (with a couple we have never met) feeling superior to the hosts who are obsessed with the details of their kitchen renovation. I liked Alice the best and, contrary to another reviewer here, felt the lovemaking scenes with her female partners were written with warmth and urgency. Easy to see that that is the character closest to the author.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 6, 2013

    I actually selected this book for my book club based on the summ

    I actually selected this book for my book club based on the summary. Boy was I wrong! I was almost too ashamed to show up to the monthly meeting after reading this book. After the first chapter, the story moves painfully slow. The characters have no redeeming qualities. In the end, I, along with my book club colleagues, were left feeling depressed and frustrated. Nice premise; it was just done ALL wrong. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2013

    I am not sure why I finished this book. The first chapter caug

    I am not sure why I finished this book. The first chapter caught my interest , but I soon found myself struggling to maintain interest . The characters were unlikable and the plot lines were boring and were generally depressing and disconnected. Some of the author's phrasing was lovely, but the book as a whole was not worth the effort I foolishly put into it. Don't bother.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2013

    Boring

    This book spans 25 years and I think it took 25 years to get through it. I have a hard time not finishing a book once I start it, but I had a hard time finishing this one. I would not recommend to my friends.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 1, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I don't even know where to start with this book. For a short sto

    I don't even know where to start with this book. For a short story, it was painfully long. I think the elements of the story would have worked better in a better format possibly. I just didn't care for how the story bounced around. I couldn't stand how in one chapter I was reading about this time frame and the very next chapter could jump anywhere from 1-5 years away and it didn't express that until at least a few paragraphs into the chapter. And the ending...what the heck kind of ending was that? It kind of came out of nowhere and it wasn't that of a great surprise ending. I would have been happy without the whole last chapter, or at least for it to have gone a completely different direction!

    The characters weren't the most likable characters in a book. I understand that the storyline is that of a tough nature, but it was so hard to fall in love with any of the characters!

    I do think that this story does have potential and does pull at some heart strings, however, I just couldn't stay interested and make myself happy about having to continue to read it!

    This just wasn't a book for me! I get the point behind it, really I do, and I think written differently, it could be brilliant!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2012

    Tried to finish....

    Honestly, I tried with this book and searched high and low for the connection between the main characters and the accident where the child was killed-- with little to no luck. I agree with the reviewer who said the main emphasis seemed to be on the lesbian lovers....ok, fine. But again, where is the connection with the title of the book. And even with the above flaws--I was so bored I smply could not finish; unusual for me.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2012

    Not a bad read

    Not the most riveting book I've ever read but not a bad read. Interesting, character based story line. Very well written.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 2, 2012

    This book started out with a very intriguing premise but wandere

    This book started out with a very intriguing premise but wandered around too much to hold my interest.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2012

    Rubbish

    I read a review of this book in mainstream media and thought it might be a good pick for my book club. I thought the storyline could be engaging and one which readers can identify with on some level in their life. I imagined it would be thought provoking and hold great potential for a lively discussion. I was sadly disappointed. No character development, contrived and unbelievable. People are better than the collective group of losers Anshaw spins a story of. I could not find a character I liked or cheered for. It reminds me of my university fiction writing class and all the undeveloped, unimaginative stories I had to suffer through. I rarely stop reading a book once I've started it but this was the exception. I could not stand to waste another moment of my life in this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2012

    The night thst The night that covers me

    A great book. She writes stories that make it hard to put the book down.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 30, 2012

    Our book club members agreed that Carry the One was a disappoint

    Our book club members agreed that Carry the One was a disappointing read in which the characters were poorly developed. The majority of the characters weren't even likeable. While the quality of Anshaw's descriptive writing was commented on by the majority of our club members all agreed that even the quality of her writing wasn't enough to make us care about her characters and the storyline.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2012

    Ok - lost steam toward the end

    The concept of the story was interesting, but the story only turned out to be ok. I found myself finishing it just to finish it, but it felt a little anticlimactic when finally done.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 44 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 3