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Uncle Barb's

"Life was cruel and hilarious
all at once."

- Sandra Cisneros -


Carry the One

Enthralled by the first 20 pages, I was licking my chops. I love stories of dysfunctional families. (See reviews for Douglas Coupland's  All Families Are Psychotic  and Simon Doonan's Beautiful People).

Anshaw's writing has an acuity that is almost surgical, extracting each scene with precision. However, there are no sentences that ring with poetry or paragraphs that capture not just a scene but the ancient nature of humankind. Anshaw tells a story that delves into loss and sorrow; rejection, betrayal, redemption and forgiveness, a story about a modern family.

Reaching the last page and closing the book, I wondered "is that all there is?" It is a well written chronology of a family's life but as dry as casenotes. My response to Anshaw's other well reviewed book, Aquamarine was similar. She is a craftswoman and tells a good story, but for soul I need to go elsewhere.


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