Carry Her Home’s stories are uniformly well written and interesting ... Bock...gives free literary rein to her vivid imagination, and tells two tales, each of which in its own way is beautifully moving ... Bock shows how much emotional clout a talented writer can pack into a half-page-long narrative ... I love this book.
Using short chapters, some only half a page, she tells her family’s story; sorrows, vacations, struggles, and losses emerge in a series of short strokes that read like a fever dream ... The language is taut, rhythmic, and the details are lovely, sometimes funny ... Although Bock works hard to depict the period, the characters are in generic situations with generic thoughts [in the book's second section] ... unlike the first section, which soars, the second never quite gets off the ground ... Fortunately, the third section returns with a lovely complex story ... Two remaining sections contain a clutch of flash fiction related to the main story not in content, but in mood. These stories are entertaining, occasionally illuminating, but lack the cohesion and velocity of the opening. Still, Bock has taken a risk with her unusual structure and, in many ways, succeeded. Her family, especially her relationship with Pop, will stay with the reader.
... could be the collection to read in 2020 for several reasons, most notably because it focuses on family, home, and loss. As we have been confined to our own homes for the better part of 2020, we may be able to relate more closely to those themes than prior to the pandemic ... Bock takes many less traditional approaches in her writing, such as shifting narrators among characters, even from those who have passed on, as well as shifting time and place. But taken as a whole, the stories weave together a glimpse of the fierce loyalty of a family holding love and loss simultaneously, bringing to mind John Keats’ theory of negative capability, that we are capable of existing in uncertainties, mysteries, or doubts ... The readers, as Caroline, are left holding both the awareness of grief, as well as the promise of hope.
In this autobiographical and imaginative book, Bock imbues her parents’ story with compassion, rich detail, and cumulative power ... While each story can stand on its own, it is when they accrue that the book’s power is fully realized, giving it the depth and detail of a novel ... Experimental and genre-bending, these stories bring together the introspection of memoir with the imaginative detail and potential of fiction.