All That We Carried

A Novel

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"Bartels proves herself a master wordsmith and storyteller."--Library Journal, starred review

"This subdued tale of learning to forgive is Bartels's best yet."--
Publishers Weekly

"A deeply personal, thoughtful exploration of dealing with pain and grief."--
Life Is Story

"Taut and engaging."--
Foreword

"A deftly crafted, entertaining, thought-provoking novel."--Midwest Book Reviews

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The most treacherous terrain is found within

Ten years ago, sisters Olivia and Melanie Greene were on a hiking trip when their parents were in a fatal car accident. They haven't seen each other since the funeral. Olivia coped with the loss by plunging 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 DIY 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.


"Erin Bartels has a gift for creating unforgettable characters who are their own worst enemy, and yet there's always a glimmer of hope that makes you believe in them. The estranged sisters in All That We Carried are two of her best yet."--Valerie Fraser Luesse, Christy Award-winning novelist

"All That We Carried is so much more than just a beautiful novel--it's a literary adventure of both body and spirit, a meaningful parable, a journey of faith. Simply stunning."--Heidi Chiavaroli, award-winning author of Freedom's Ring and The Tea Chest


Erin Bartels is the award-winning author of We Hope for Better Things and The Words between Us. She lives in Michigan's capital city with her husband and their son. She hikes Michigan's backcountry trails with her sister. Find her online at www.erinbartels.com.


Endorsements

"Erin Bartels has a gift for creating unforgettable characters who are their own worst enemy, and yet there's always a glimmer of hope that makes you believe in them. The estranged sisters in All That We Carried are two of her best yet--young women battling their own demons and each other as they try to navigate beyond a shared painful past and find their way to a more hopeful future."

Valerie Fraser Luesse, Christy Award-winning novelist

"All That We Carried is so much more than just a beautiful novel--it's a literary adventure of both body and spirit, a meaningful parable, a journey of faith. Erin Bartels creates amazingly realistic characters in two sisters wrestling with their past and with one another. Not only did this story make me want to pull on my hiking boots for my own adventure, it propelled me to search out a deeper faith. Simply stunning. A novel not to be missed!"

Heidi Chiavaroli, award-winning author of Freedom's Ring and The Tea Chest


The Author

  1. Erin Bartels
    Matthew Mitchell Photo

    Erin Bartels

    Erin Bartels is the award-winning author of We Hope for Better Things (2020 Michigan Notable Book, 2020 WFWA Star Award-winner, 2019 Christy Award finalist), The Words between Us (2020 Christy Award finalist, 2015 WFWA Rising Star Award...

    Continue reading about Erin Bartels

Reviews

"This subdued tale of learning to forgive is Bartels's best yet."

Publishers Weekly

"A deeply personal, thoughtful exploration of dealing with pain and grief."

Life Is Story

"In Erin Bartels's novel All That We Carried, two sisters undertake a hiking trip that's fraught with perils. The tension between Melanie and Olivia combines with the tension of them dealing with the challenges of the wild. The novel is taut and engaging as the sisters meet disasters, one after the other. Bartels's descriptions of the Upper Peninsula's natural wonders and beauty are vibrant, encompassing trails, rivers, lakes, and waterfalls with in-the-moment details."

Foreword

"A deftly crafted, entertaining, thought-provoking novel, All That We Carried is especially recommended and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary General Fiction collections."

Midwest Book Reviews

"In a modern-day tale of Martha and Mary, Bartels (We Hope for Better Things) proves herself a master wordsmith and storyteller. Fans of Rachel Hauck and David Rawlings will appreciate hints of a world beyond our own, and anyone with sisters will relate to Olive and Melanie's tumultuous relationship."

Library Journal, starred review


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