Title: Carry Me Home
Author: Sandra Kring
First published January 1, 2004
288 pages, Paperback
ISBN: 9780385338134 (ISBN10: 0385338139)
Prepare to be captivated by Shirley Jackson’s spine-tingling collection, The Lottery: The Adventures of a Demon Lover. First published in The New Yorker, “The Lottery” gained notoriety for its bone-chilling portrayal of a small town’s sinister tradition.
Jackson’s other stories in this collection are equally captivating, ranging from darkly comedic to downright terrifying. With her unparalleled skill as a storyteller, Jackson transports readers to a world of unimaginable horrors and “nights of unrest.” This is the only collection of Jackson’s stories published during her lifetime, and it is a must-read for fans of the macabre.
Sandra Krings debut novel, Carry Me Home transports readers to a Midwestern town in the 1960s. The author, known for her heartfelt stories filled with life lessons, presents a tale of resilience and hope in a time of turmoil.
Published on January 1, 2004, Carry Me Home fits comfortably into the genre of historical fiction with hints of coming-of-age and family drama.
The novel revolves around the story of twelve-year-old, Polly Deschamps, who is sent to live with her mentally ill mother in the small town of Livingstone, Wisconsin.
Livingstone is a town that is seemingly locked in time and where conformity is valued above all else. Pollys arrival in the town sparks a series of events that leads to unexpected bonds being formed and deep-seated secrets being unearthed.
One of the strengths of Carry Me Home is the character development. Kring manages to create a cast of characters that are rich and multi-dimensional, each with their struggles and secrets.
Polly, the protagonist, is endearing and relatable, making it easy for readers to root for her throughout the story. The interactions between Polly and her mother, ,who is suffering from mental illness, are especially poignant and heartfelt.
The other characters in the town, such as Wanda and Jack, are also well thought out and provide their own unique contributions to the plot.
Kring’s writing style is simple but effective.
The plot structure moves at a steady pace, keeping the reader engaged throughout the book. The themes explored in the story are universal and timeless, such as the meaning of family, acceptance, and the importance of empathy.
However, some readers may find the ending to be predictable, and the plot twists redundant.
Carry Me Home is notable for its depiction of the time period it is set in, enabling readers to draw parallels to the present day.
The themes and issues addressed such as mental health and racism still resonate in today’s society, making it a relevant read for contemporary readers. Furthermore, the book offers insight into Midwestern culture, with its strong sense of community and loyalty to tradition.
Overall, Carry Me Home is a compelling and heartwarming read that will likely appeal to fans of historical fiction and coming-of-age stories. Kring does an excellent job of providing an authentic representation of life in a small town while crafting a story that is both insightful and endearing.
While the novel does have its flaws, it is ultimately worth reading for the characters and themes it tackles. The book receives a four out of five rating for its overall impact, character development, and storytelling proficiency.