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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Return to Book Page. Preview — Aquamarine by Carol Anshzw. Aquamarine by Carol Anshaw Goodreads Author. Olympic swimmer Jesse Austin is seduced and consequently edged out for a gold medal by her Australian rival. From there, Anshaw intricately traces three possible paths for Jesse, spinning exhilarating variations on the themes of lost love and parallel lives unlived. Dorothy Allison, author of Bastard Out of Carolinawrites, “I found myself wishing I could buy a dozen copi Olympic swimmer Jesse Austin is seduced and consequently edged out for a gold medal by her Australian rival.

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 to debate all the questions this astonishing novel provokes.

Paperbackpages. Published November 14th by Mariner Books first published Society of Midland Authors Award for Fiction To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Wnshaw ask other readers questions about Aquamarineplease sign up. This question contains spoilers… view spoiler [hey aquamarime was wondering if you had a idea? See 1 question about Aquamarine…. Lists with This Book. I initially gave this book three stars, but anahaw further reflection I’m bumping it up to four.

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. Aquamarie seen this idea in other books and movies, but this book, published inmay have actually been first. I loved many things about this book. The c I initially gave this book three stars, but upon further reflection I’m bumping it up to four.

The characters and settings were vivid, and each of Jesse’s “lives” was fully realized and convincing. I was initially skeptical cwrol her third zquamarine believing that the Jesse of the first two sections would have never settled for what she had in the third, but then I remembered that those Jesses didn’t exist in this world–in each life, she is the product of her choices.

It made me think about the various ways I might’ve been different if I’d made different choices; the book aquamaarine a very effective job of getting this point across.

Book Report: Aquamarine by Carol Anshaw – Kait Gets Lit

I loved, too, aquamarinr way Anshaw plants little clues about which life Jesse is actually meant to have So why did I give this three stars upon marking it “read”? I just wasn’t happy with the way things went down in the last few pages of the book. Having said that, the ending was ambiguous enough to leave me with a lot to chew on, and once I calmed down I realized that I appreciated that ambiguity.


I read Anshaw’s Carry the One a couple years ago and would have to say that novel is more accomplished than this one, but for a first novel Aquamarine is an impressive achievement and a fun read. I don’t know how I feel about this. I’ll think about it a bit more.

View all 6 comments. Oct 02, Jess rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: I read this book before I moved to Portland, before my life really started. In my sheltered, plastic world, this novel stood out for its authenticity, its daring. I picked it up for very superficial reasons: I liked the cover, I’d been a competitive swimmer, and aquamarine is my birthstone.

I nudged my paradigm ever so slightly. I realized that the path I was on was the not the only path I could take.

In fact, looking back the reading of aqhamarine novel may have been a watershed moment. Aquxmarine took the re I read this book before I moved to Portland, before my life really started.

I took the reigns of life and from then on directed. Aug 10, Book. Journalism rated it it was cadol Shelves: Und das Zitat von oben ist der Leitsatz zu allen drei Perspektiven. Mich regte die Geschichte zum nachdenken an. Auch wenn ich am Anfang etwas verwirrt war, fand ich ansuaw Buch perfekt. Es ist keine Unterhaltungsliteratur. Es regt zum nachdenken an und fordert einen auch.

May 26, Elaine Burnes rated it liked it Shelves: I looked up this book, figuring I might read it some day. Well, the plus asnhaw of clearing out the basement aqumaarine that I found a box full of lesfic I thought Caroo given away, including this! Though in retrospect, this is not lesfic. The narrator tells three possible versions of her life after competing in the Mexico City Olympics as a swimmer. There, she has an encounter with a gorgeous swimmer from Australia.

I don’t quite see how these three scenarios directly relate to that moment. In aqumarine first, she’s married to a man; in the second, she’s with a woman the best, naturally ; and in the third, aquuamarine basically a single mom, though the father has a role. It has a litmag feel to it that I think works better for short stories than novels. The narrative felt distanced; not sure how to ccarol. A lot of background and scene setting.

I liked the anhaw part where she takes on the other swimmer, but the last couple of lines left me wondering. What does it mean? 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.

Jun 06, Lissa rated it it was ok Shelves: InJesse Austin took the silver medal for the hundred-meter freestyle in Mexico City. After the Olympics, Jesse has to make some quick and tough decisions that will shape her life in numerous ways. The author depicts three of these potential lives: It was interesting to see that, no matter how different the lives, ho InJesse Austin took the silver medal for the hundred-meter freestyle in Mexico City.


It was interesting to see that, no matter how different the lives, how many similarities amongst them there are. I don’t want to give too much away, but I must say that the second life described is the one that is preferable to me, although I feel that the first one is probably more likely than the second.

I know that this book has a lot of great reviews, but I had a hard time getting invested in the stories. It took me almost a month to read this book, and it’s not even two hundred pages. I was hoping for more introspection, I suppose, instead of a just straight-forward “this is what happened without much reflection.

She injures her hand while saving Jesse’s aqjamarine delayed brother, William, from having a cherry bomb explode in his face. In the first life, Jesse watches aquamafine soap opera and makes a remark about the bandage that has been on Kit’s hand for months. Umm, if Asnhaw hand is injured while saving William, and she and Jesse don’t meet in the first story at all, why is Ahshaw hand still injured? You can’t caorl me that she saved someone else’s brother carlo a cherry bomb.

It was okay, but not memorable. Nov 02, Michael Armijo rated it it was ok. I can see how he liked caroll stance of a woman who is a champion swimmer and takes a dive into three different scenarios of how her life could have been.

I suppose it’s up to the reader to decide which is the TRUE story if one wants to go that route. Alas, the book didn’t flow as well as I would have liked.

There were some memorable lines though: I’m just looking for a way in. I guess its just another author trying to be creative. I find that amusing now because most of the book will ultimately be a blur. I wouldn’t strongly recommend this as it’s easy to put down and NOT pick up again. It took some strain for me to finish. I like a book that I can’t wait to read Apr 13, David Jay rated it it was amazing. The book opens with Jesse competing as a swimmer for the US at the Olympics where she takes the silver medal.

From there, the book veers off in three different directions. The book jumps tofinding Jesse nearing 40 and contemplating her life from three dramatically different vantage points. Following the Olympics, she aquamarjne various decisions and Anshaw tracks how different aqquamarine life would have been if she had made some choices as opposed to others.