Saturday, January 2, 2021

All That We Carried By Erin Bartels

 

All That We Carried By Erin Bartels



Ten years ago, sisters Olivia and Melanie Greene were on a backcountry hiking trip when their parents were in a fatal car accident. Over the years, they grew apart, each coping with the loss in her own way. Olivia plunged herself into law school, work, and a materialist view of the world--what you see is what you get, and that's all you get. Melanie dropped out of college and developed an online life-coaching business around her cafeteria-style spirituality--a little of this, a little of that, whatever makes you happy.

Now, at Melanie's insistence (and against Olivia's better judgment), they are embarking on a hike in the Porcupine Mountains of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. In this remote wilderness they'll face their deepest fears, question their most dearly held beliefs, and begin to see that perhaps the best way to move forward is the one way they had never considered.

Michigan Notable Book Award winner Erin Bartels draws from personal experience hiking backcountry trails with her sister to bring you a story about the complexities of grief, faith, and sisterhood.


My Thoughts:
I have read two other books by Erin Bartels and I enjoy her books. They are different in a positive way and I always find them to touch my heart. She writes with well constructed plots that bring me into the story as the characters find themselves into my heart. This particular book is just the same. It is stunning to say the least. This book is written in Michigan, which I truly enjoy as a Michigan resident. She does an amazing job of capturing the Upper Peninsula and it's gorgeous backdrop. The plot between two sisters who have lost touch with one another, is an engaging read and gives the reader a lot to think about. This book is a great read in my opinion and allows the reader to explore the depths of their own heart. I highly recommend reading this book. 





ERIN BARTELS is the award-winning author of We Hope for Better Things—a 2020 Michigan Notable Book, winner of the 2020 Star Award from the Women’s Fiction Writers Association in both the debut and general fiction categories, and a 2019 Christy Award finalist—The Words between Us—a 2020 Christy Award finalist—and All That We Carried (coming January 2021). Her short story “This Elegant Ruin” was a finalist in The Saturday Evening Post 2014 Great American Fiction Contest. Her poems have been published by The Lyric and The East Lansing Poetry Attack. A member of the Capital City Writers Association and the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, she is former features editor of WFWA’s Write On! magazine and current director of the annual WFWA Writers Retreat in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

She lives in Michigan, where she is never more than six miles away from a body of water. She grew up in the Bay City area waiting for freighters and sailboats at drawbridges and spent her college and young married years in Grand Rapids. She currently lives with her husband and son in Lansing, nestled somewhere between angry protesters on the Capitol lawn and couch-burning frat boys at Michigan State University. And yet, she claims it is really quite peaceful.


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