This time around, my friend, fellow writer, and surrogate brother Joaquin dropped Carol Anshaw’s Aquamarine into my life, and everything. For those with a yen for a choose-your-own-adventure novel, Village Voice Literary Supplement contributor Anshaw (author, as Carol White. In Carol Anshaw’s first novel, Jesse Austin swims 10, miles over three years of training, races for America in the Olympics and comes.

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I suppose it’s up to the reader to decide which is the TRUE story if one wants to go that route. Dorothy Allison, author of Bastard Out of Carolinawrites, “I found myself wishing I could buy a dozen copies and start a discussion group, just so I’d be able aquamarien debate all the questions this astonishing novel provokes.

This book so deserves 5 stars! I also noticed how the current “foodie culture” did not exist yet! I did a little Reader’s Advisory work for my friend A- a very finicky fiction reader. You are commenting using your Twitter account.

Aquamarine by Carol Anshaw | booksaremyfavouriteandbest

Camus argued it was our moral obligation to be happy. I realized that the path I was on was the not the only path I could take. Email required Address never ahshaw public. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Oct 02, Jess rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: I wanted to like this book, but it was really weird and continually made me uneasy. View all 6 comments. The writing is just lovely, every single word.

Mar 14, Gabrielle de Cuir rated it really liked it. Her success as a swimmer seems out of character for the family she grew up in, but it was the s and not the uber trained, genetically freaky athlete it takes to succeed today. Jesse has an interesting story about the difficulty of succeeding hugely as an adolescent, and the way that early loves can affect all the relationships that follow. Part of the joy of this book is seeing how different Aquqmarine life would be with different choices, and how other aspects of her life seem unalterable no matter what choices she makes.


Aquamarine by Carol Anshaw

Writing is fairly plain. This novel gives us a brief snapshot of Jesse, a teenage Olympic swimmer, and then goes on the show three vastly different portrayals of her life, based on what might’ve happened if she’d made one decision or another once her swimming career was over.

We meet Jesse Austin at the Olympics, a year-old who will be haunted forever by the race at which she takes a medal but, more to the point, by her relationship with a competitor at that race. I don’t know; I’m not picking up the book different paths that could’ve happened. A book that you want to read slowly, ajshaw savor, but it is just too good and I read it in just a few short days. In the first, she’s married to a man; in the second, she’s with a woman the best, naturally ; and in the third, she’s basically a single mom, though the father has a role.

Aquamarine by Carol Anshaw

This book is a dream. Joaquin is a former student of Ms. This book starts out with a brief glimpse into Jesse’s life as an 18 year old who has just won an Olympic medal for swimming.

This is what happens to Jessie, who at barely 18 experiences the defining moment of her life. View all posts by Kait. Nov 28, Lily Mason rated it really liked it Shelves: You are commenting using your Facebook account.

Although each of the three stories is very different, they are all heavily influenced by Marty, her seduction and her snatching the gold medal. No trivia or quizzes yet. It made me think about the various ways I might’ve been different if I’d made different choices; the book does a very effective job of getting this point across. What will Jesse do with what she perceives as failure, and how will she cope when Marty ends their burgeoning relationship without an explanation?


There is no scale, no formula to predict how certain events affect any one person. Notify me of new comments via email. However, the tale suffers because of certain distracting Anshaw tics tics that are more distracting when one has just encountered them in another book. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.

By clicking on “Submit” you agree that you have read and agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. I initially gave this book three stars, but upon further reflection I’m bumping it up to four.

I’ll definitely be reading more by aquzmarine author. Apr 04, Alisa rated it really liked it. The book is tied together by the core people in Jesse’s life, who make appearances in each of the three versions of her life. Or do all roads eventually lead here?

It’s a quick read, and Anshaw’s prose style is assured, but I didn’t enjoy this. From there, the book veers off in three different directions. She and the girlfriend visit New Jerusalem for the first time as a couple. One tends to feel compassionate towards Jesse’s situation, but not overly melodramatically so. That was aquamarie 25 years ago, and all of us have a very different sensibility now. The places where Jesse Austin’s life ends up couldn’t be more different, but the author does a good job of maintaining a anshas, but not identical, personality for the various manifestations her character.

Anshaw delights in showing progressive-minded people surrounded by kitsch-loving rednecks.