From bestselling author Peter Behrens (The Law of Dreams and The O’Briens) comes a new historical novel that explores love and family against a violent backdrop as Europe staggers between the two world wars.
Beginning in 1909, Carry Me tells the story of Billy Lange, the son of a horse groom living on a lush baronial estate on the Isle of Wight and his lifelong infatuation and intermittent love affair with the baron’s daughter Carin.
The pair, though seemingly different in every conceivable way, bond over their shared passion for racehorses, western novels, and dream of escaping the escalating tensions and turmoil of Europe for the dreamy, sun dappled vistas of El Llano Estacado as described by their favourite writer — Karl May.
Three turbulent decades pass and circumstances push and pull the lovers together and apart like the tides. Readers are swept up in the conflict and taken on a tour of the continent — from a golden Edwardian summer on the Isle of Wight, to London under Zeppelin attack, to Ireland on the brink of its War of Independence, and at last to Germany during the darkening Weimar period, when a final harrowing episode reunites them once again.
This is a real heavy-hitter and has all of the elements of both a big awards contender and a book club pick–a heartstring tugging love story, a larger than life historical epic, and a revisionist look at the horrors and dangers of war. Best yet, Carry Me is based on fact– Behrens used members of his own family and real events as the frame on which to stretch the novel’s canvas; the immaculate detail and immersive scenes are a testament to this.
This novel will no doubt get a great deal of media coverage and have readers clamouring– The New York Times, Globe and Mail, National Post and Montreal Gazette have all sung his praises. Stock is now available at the University of Toronto Press warehouse. Contact them to order today.
Carry Me by Peter Behrens
House of Anansi Press
Hardcover | $32.00 | Available now
Order from the University of Toronto Press