Carter Clay by Elizabeth Evans
A Novel

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"This is before the accident. No one is dead yet. Blood circulates just as it should, two ounces per pump of the heart."

So begins the extraordinary story of Carter Clay, a Vietnam veteran at loose ends. Drunk and driving a van down a Florida highway, Clay smashes into the Alitz family: Joe and Katherine, distinguished paleontologists, ad their daughter, Jersey. Joe is killed, Katherine and Jersey are seriously injured. In an attempt to redeem himself while still concealing his culpability, Clay becomes a questionable caretaker of Katherine and Jersey's damaged lives. He obtains a job as an aide at the hospital where Katherine and Jersey initially receive care. When Katherine's retired mother assumes reluctant responsibility for the pair, Clay further insinuates himself into their lives--imposing upon precocious Jersey and addled Katherine the baggage of his past and his haphazard faith in God. Suspenseful, psychologically complex, and inhabited by characters that will haunt your memory long after you have turned the last page, Carter Clay is a magnificent novel--a finely wrought tale of the frailty of identity and the possibility of redemption.


About Elizabeth Evans

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Evans has received many grants and fellowships for her writing, including an NEA Fellowship, the James Michener Fellowship, and fellowships at Yaddo and MacDowell.
Published February 17, 1999 by Harper. 416 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Carter Clay

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takes Jersey and Katherine to be saved by the hypocritical Pastor Bitner and grows so close to the Alitz family that he begins to fantasize about marrying Katherine—until Pruitt wanders again into his life to make a final, harrowing attempt to destroy Clay and his adopted family.

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Publishers Weekly

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From the wreckage of a senseless hit-and-run collision, Evans (The Blue Hour) salvages a brave yet delicate novel that succeeds beautifully despite the unlikeliness of its plot. On their way to Florid

Mar 01 1999 | Read Full Review of Carter Clay: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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But a long-standing grudge borne against Clay by his former drinking buddy Finis Pruitt (also a victim of the accident) threatens Clay's precarious new ""family."" The novel often floats solely on the contrasts among its three central characters: Katherine, a former distinguished scholar who now ...

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