Carry Yourself Back to Me is Deborah Reed's debut novel under her own name, following close on the heels of the publication under her Audrey Braun pen name of the sassy thriller, A Small Fortune.
In contrast to the whirligig adventure of her thriller, Carry Yourself Back to Me is a thoughtful, intense novel with Southern gothic overtones. Set in central Florida in the middle of a freak cold snap, the story focuses on Annie Walsh, a singer-songwriter recovering from the abrupt end of a long relationship with her music producer boyfriend.
There are many threads to the story as Reed examines the relationships between Annie and her ex-lover, her brother Calder who has been accused of murdering his lover's husband, their parents, and their bachelor uncle. The story moves between the cold, snowy present, Annie and Calder's childhood, and the immediate past that left Annie alone in her cabin and Calder in jail.
By the end, as the threads come together, the reader has been woven into the tale. Reed's descriptions are so tactile – Annie's rough hands, the ice-coated branches of the citrus trees, the warm fur of her dog's coat – and her characters are so authentic that to read the book is to live inside the story.
This book is hands-down terrific.
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Here is my interview of Deborah Reed, aka Audrey Braun.
Here is my review of A Small Fortune.
Here is some of the buzz on Carry Yourself Back to Me: Reed was interviewed on tv recently. The book got a Publisher's Weekly review. It was the September choice for the From Left to Write Book Club. Library Journal praised the book and called Reed "an author to watch." And there is a sweet country song tie-in by Brush Prairie.