Carry Yourself Back to Me by Deborah Reed

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Famed alt-country artist Annie Walsh has more than enough reason to sing her version of the blues, including a broken heart, a stalled career, and a troubled family. Annie seeks refuge from an upended love affair with her producer, Owen Pettybone, by sequestering herself at home with her old dog Detour, surrounded by a lush Florida tangelo grove. There, she spends her days furiously sanding down the house’s every veneer in a vain attempt at erasing the painful memory of the love she lost. Soon, however, this quiet, small town existence—far from recording studios, ardent fans, and affairs of the heart—comes crashing down around her. A violent murder connected to her brother Calder threatens to tear her family apart and forces Annie to shore up her loyalties and uproot profound disappointments from her distant past. The evidence stacks against Calder, compounded by his lifelong affliction with Tourette syndrome that causes some in the community to cast aspersions on the soundness of his mind.

As the circumstances converge to challenge lifetime ties and forge unexpected new bonds, this soulful, stirring novel shifts its narrative from an imperiled and ever-changing present, where each hour brings an unforeseen and unwelcome piece of news, to the poignant childhood days of first allegiances and life-altering loss. Like a fine and forlorn love ballad, the gifted, conflicted Annie lulls the reader into a journey through love and loss that mines the mysterious, and, at times, paradoxical rhythms of the human heart. As vibrant as Annie's treasured tangelo grove, Carry Yourself Back to Me cultivates an always tender, sometimes tart, portrait of one family’s regret and redemption. Inflected with melancholy and redeemed by melody, this deeply affecting novel is certain to strike a resonant chord with music fans and lovers of fine fiction everywhere.

About Deborah Reed

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DEBORAH REED comes from a long line of storytellers and musicians and finds creative inspiration in the composition of alt-country, folk, and homespun goods. She currently resides in the Pacific Northwest, where she also writes suspense fiction under the name of Audrey Braun.
Published September 20, 2011 by Lake Union Publishing. 317 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Biographies & Memoirs. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Carry Yourself Back to Me

Publishers Weekly

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In her first literary novel, Reed (who writes suspense fiction under the penname Audrey Braun) triumphs with this thoughtful, graceful story of singer/songwriter Annie Walsh.

Aug 15 2011 | Read Full Review of Carry Yourself Back to Me

Portland Book Review

I bet you will find something that will interest you 5 stars for a cleverly devised mystery set in PDX a must read for the tween reader in your family Deborah Reed’s Carry Yourself Back to Me introduces the reader to Annie Walsh, a suc...

Apr 17 2012 | Read Full Review of Carry Yourself Back to Me

The Nervous Breakdown

When Calder enters the book, in his vegetable-oil-powered truck, “the air smells like french fries.” In Calder’s apartment, Annie is “hit with the familiar scent of grassy shoes, bamboo and cork flooring, the rough sawn beams high above her head.” Annie’s father “once said snow smelled like new u...

Sep 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Carry Yourself Back to Me

As You Like It

In the novel, Annie’s last album is described as “… filled with vivid tales of love and loss without the slightest hint of sentimentality.” Her songs are “… painful, clear-eyed, storied songs …” and her voice is “… reminiscent of the great Patsy Cline, Lucinda Williams, and Aimee Mann, all spun i...

Jun 08 2012 | Read Full Review of Carry Yourself Back to Me

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