Carry Me Across the Water (Paperback)
by Ethan Canin
|Format:||Paperback 226 pages|
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'Take the advice of no one,' young August Kleinman is told by his mother, as around them in Hamburg the Nazi party is rising to power. With these words alone to guide him, August escapes to America, where he builds a fortune, a family, and a life, on his own daring terms. August's character and fate are shaped by a shocking encounter in a cave with a Japanese soldier, a lifelong passion for an Italian girl named Ginger and estrangement from his own children. Finally, August must face the sins of his life and seek atonement.
Publisher and industry reviews
'A spare, beautiful novel, which captures both the tensions between generations in modern American family life. Canin has a rare talent' Daily Mail
UK Kirkus review
August Kleinman grows up in Germany amidst the horrors of World War II. 'Take the advice of no-one', says his mother and Kleinman pays heed to this credo; his self-sufficiency becoming a byword as he embarks upon a career as a self-made businessman, forging a prosperous new life in America. As the novel begins Kleinman has reached the age of 78 and is visiting his son Jimmy in New York. As he looks after his baby grandson and tries to bridge the chasm between his son and himself, past and present begin to blur and he realises that in order to reclaim any sort of future, he must come to terms with some bruising home truths. Shifting time and place fluidly and frequently, the book persuasively mirrors the discursive way that one's mind works and carries one along on this absorbing journey of self discovery. It's a poignant study, often superbly realised, of how character develops, examining the pivotal moments of Kleinman's life and that of his family as he tries to atone for early sins and restore some necessary sense of moral balance. There's a dramatic wartime encounter with a Japanese soldier underground, his gamble on a business that eventually brought him great success and, at the root of everything, his passionate relationship with Italian wife Ginger. Initially clouded by sadness, by the book's uplifting conclusion Kleinman has found a new sense of purpose and clarity. By squarely facing up to the oversights of his life and consciously redressing past wrongs, he reclaims a precious sense of life's potential, realising that 'he was in decline but he was not yet down.' Canin has created a beautifully measured and memorable story, full of emotional honesty that makes this a stimulating as well as a thoroughly enjoyable read. (Kirkus UK)
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
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