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Olympic swimmer Jesse Austin is seduced and consequently edged out for a gold medal by her Australian rival. From there, Anshaw intricately traces three possible paths for Jesse, spinning exhilarating variations on the themes of lost love and parallel lives unlived. Dorothy Allison, author of Bastard Out of Carolina, writes, "I found myself wishing I could buy a dozen copies and start a discussion group, just so I'd be able to debate all the questions this astonishing novel provokes." A Reader's Guide is available.
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.
Nora and Fern are just like any other mother and daughter - their relationship is tumultuous, marked by brooding silences and curt exchanges. For Nora, Fern is an enigma - incomprehensible, unfindable. Fern has never really forgiven her mother for leaving her marriage to live with her lover, Jeanne. Their story is a contemporary one, in which mothering is a mapless journey and children are left to form themselves in the shadows cast by idiosyncratic parenting. Here, too, is the reality that perfectly reasonable people will find some way to throw a wrench into the smooth, well-oiled workings of their lives. Nora's relationship with Jeanne has settled into domestic stability, triggering in Nora a familiar restlessness that leads to an affair. When Fern intuits her mother's indiscretion, she looks to the two people she depends on most: her uncle Harold and her best friend, Tracy, who now has the overwhelming task of raising a baby. As Fern begins to take on more of the baby's care herself, she discovers some of the powerful ambiguities of parental love - and starts to find her way back to her own mother. Carol Anshaw has been praised for her "warmhearted sympathies and lively wit" (Newsday). LUCKY IN THE CORNER, with the author's inimitable humor and insight, shows us the way a family reconfigures itself as unexpected changes come its way - and how, no matter what shape it takes, it remains a family.
Christine Snow, a Chicago therapist, wakes one morning to find her live-in lover gone. At first Chris thinks that Taylor has left in a funk because they fought the night before over a minor flirtation. But too many clues point to another explanation: either Taylor has left for Morocco and a mysterious woman there, or she has come to harm. Running the emotional gamut from anger to alarm, Christine anxiously tracks the course of Taylor's disappearance, only to discover that her trust in her lover may have been misplaced. Badly shaken, she begins to question her own powers of perception: if she has misread Taylor for so long, perhaps - a therapist's worst fear - she hardly knows her own mind. Bearing Anshaw's trademark style -witty, hip, with sparkling dialogue and irresistible characters - Seven Moves unveils layers of loss, discovery, and personality in a narrative that is forcefully compelling and full of jazzy spirit. As the Chicago Tribune said of Anshaw's first novel, this book " wi
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