By Deborah Reed
AmazonEncore, $13.95, 310 pages

Deborah Reed’s Carry Yourself Back to Me introduces the reader to Annie Walsh, a successful singer/songwriter living in rural Florida, who in the months leading up to her fortieth birthday, finds herself alone and uninspired after being deserted by the man she loves. When Annie receives a visit from her brother, Calder, on her birthday, he reveals his involvement with a married woman. Days later, when Calder is arrested in connection to a brutal crime, Annie knows that it’s time to forgive her past and help her family come to terms with their own demons.

Written in lush prosaic language, Carry Yourself Back to Me is a study in the range and depth of human emotion, breathing new life into the story of love and loss through the experience of richly-developed characters as they navigate their complex relationships. Following our protagonists in and out of the heartbreak of childhood and the devastation of adulthood, Reed takes the reader on a narrative journey as lyrical and familiar as the saddest love song.

Reviewed by Alexandra Walford