Big congratulations to Peter Behrens for winning the Vine Award for Canadian Jewish Literature in the Fiction category for Carry Me! The Vine Awards celebrate “excellence in Canadian Jewish writing” and comes with a $10,000 in addition to the award.
Set during the decades between the First and Second World Wars, Carry Me is a devastating historical saga about war, love, and escape from Peter Behrens, the Governor General’s Literary Award–winning author of The Law of Dreams and The O’Briens.
“Behrens is a master, at home in the broad sweep of history and the intimate detail of a character’s experience. This is a novel that could be, should be, read in a hundred years.” – The Vine Awards Jury
Congratulations, Peter! And congratulations to all the winners in the other Vine Awards categories!
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.