Written by Peter Behrens
Publication Date February 20, 2016
Billy Lange is born in 1909 on the Isle of Wight, England, where his father is the skipper of a racing yacht belonging to a wealthy German-Jewish baron. As a child, Billy is entranced by the baron’s daughter, the elusive and willful Karin von Weinbrenner. After the First World War, Karin and Billy are reunited on the baron’s Frankfurt estate, where they bond over their fascination with the Wild West novels of Karl May, the most popular author in the German language.
Over the years, Billy and Karin’s childhood friendship deepens and transforms into a complex love affair with extraordinarily high stakes. Coming of age in Frankfurt and Berlin, Billy and Karin share a passion for speed, jazz, and nightclubs. As society loses its moral bearings and Germany marches toward the Second World War, they also share a dream of escape — from Germany, from history — to El Llano Estacado, May’s richly imagined New Mexico landscape.
An intriguing cast of characters braid this harrowing story together, transporting the reader from a golden Edwardian summer on the Isle of Wight, to London under Zeppelin attack, to Ireland on the brink of its War of Independence, and at last to Germany during the darkening Weimar period.
Brilliantly conceived, deeply researched, and profoundly moving, Carry Me is an unusual love story, an historical epic, and a lucid meditation on Europe’s violent twentieth century.
Peter Behrens’s first novel The Law of Dreams won the Governor-General’s Award for Fiction, and has been published in nine languages. His collection of short stories, Travelling Light, was reissued in 2013, and his second novel, The O’Briens, was published in 2011. His stories and essays have appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, Tin House, Brick, Best Canadian Stories, Best Canadian Essays, and many anthologies. Behrens is a native of Montreal and was educated at Lower Canada College, Concordia University, and McGill. He has held a Wallace Stegner Fellowship in Creative Writing at Stanford University and was a Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. He lives in Maine and Texas.
"With stunning imagery and fully realized characters, Peter Behrens’ third novel is a worthy followup to The O’Briens (2012) and his critically acclaimed first novel, Law of Dreams (2006)… Timely in its depiction of North America as the mythical land of hope for so many, and timeless in its exploration of the effects of bigotry and the power of love, Carry Me is a brilliant and entertaining read." Winnipeg Free Press
"a powerful tale…the tension and the expertly drawn portrait of Europe at war make this novel a winner." Now Toronto Magazine