A poignant, lyrical story about a boy’s love for his grieving mother and his determination to bring her back from despair, I Carried You Home is a novel about coming of age through the experience of loss and a return to life.
A single mother of two teenage boys locks herself away in grief over one son’s death in a car accident in which she was the driver, refusing to see her remaining son, Ashe. In one stroke, Ashe has lost both his brother and his mother. He moves into the shed outside her window and over the months, tries a number of ways to coax her from her solitude.
Eventually, she leaves her bedroom and takes him on a harrowing journey through Death Valley where he learns about her troubled past and, in the process, tries to come to terms with her.
This a confident and haunting novel told from the point of view of a fourteen-year-old boy, a voice that engages us powerfully and compels us to find out how he can possibly come to terms with his terrible loss, his bereaved mother, and make sense of his own conflicted world. I Carried You Home is an emotionally complex and satisfying first novel from a very talented new Canadian literary voice.
I Carried You Home is an elegant meditation on the ultimate unknowability of family, on the spark and burn of mother-son relationships. Gibney writes with an understated grace that makes even the quietest moments sing. A wise and affecting novel.
“Gibney shows admirable restraint in this moody, broody novel set in 1960s rural Ontario and Death Valley. . . . Overall, an assured debut.”