I’m almost done my Evergreen books for the year – my ninth book was Peter Behrens’ Carry Me. It tells the story of Billy Lange and Karin Weinbrenner and their lives in Germany between WWI and WWII. I went through a period a few years ago when I was obsessed with WWI and WWII and read everything I could get my hands on until I reached my saturation point, and since then I kind of steered clear so I wasn’t particularly enthusiastic about this one.
I wanted to like this book, I really did. It tells an important story and gives a very different perspective – looking back at WWII Germany we always ask how such a thing could happen, and Billy shows us just how a normal man caught up in his day-to-day life might let those early signs slip by him.
But Karin – ugh! She goes through some horrible events and does brave and heroic things and yet even with all of that the only impression I get of her is ‘poor little rich girl.’ She’s reminds me of Daisy Buchanan and Lady Brett Ashley, the type of woman who only really exists for the male protagonist to brood over. It’s a shame, Behrens is an extremely talented writer and he plays with the narrative in some quite interesting ways, but I just couldn’t get past my distaste for those main characters (although given the amount of literary acclaim it’s received I guess most people don’t feel the same).