Follow Me by Joanna Scott is a novel that follows the life of Sally Werner. It is all wrapped up by her granddaughter relating things she learned from her grandmother and from cassette tapes her father gave her.
It all begins in 1946 when sixteen year old Sally decides to accept a ride from her cousin Daniel on his motorcycle. It appears that Daniel has always had a crush on Sally and she flirts a little with him. Things get carried away and Sally is taken advantage of and later becomes pregnant. In a life altering decision, she decides to leave her baby son behind with her family who has all but shunned her anyway and leaves town for what she hopes will be a better life.
Sally wanders aimlessly for a while and finally comes upon two men in a field. She’s scared but that doesn’t stop her from calling them names. They leave and Sally sits down and sobs. Lucky for her, one of them comes back for her and takes her home to Georgie’s place which just turns out to be one of many places that Sally lands in her journey to find herself and build a life. Sally, for one reason or another always finds a reason to leave each place that she’s in and with each new town she arrives in, comes a new last name. It’s almost like she’s always trying to reinvent herself. In one such place Sally finds herself with a man who turns out to be nothing but trouble and she takes off. However, she’s left with a baby daughter on the way.
I found this novel hard to get into and it really wasn’t until midway through that I really felt the need to want to know what was going to happen to Sally. The premise of the story is very interesting to me and I’m not sure entirely sure what didn’t work for me. I think maybe it was just too drawn out for me. Joanna’s writing is very descriptive and she brings her characters to life quite vividly. I did actually like Sally as a character although she did a lot of things in such a way that I wouldn’t have but I admired her determination and drive. No matter what life threw her way, she got up, brushed off, and started over. Eventually though the past will always catch up to you as it did with Sally and she is unable to run anymore.
Follow Me by Joanna Scott is many things; a tale of heartbreak, tragedy, guilt and redemption. You will be drawn into Sally’s life and journey and you will want to know where she lands when it’s all over. You can buy this book here in the US and here in Canada. Thank you Miriam with Hachette for having me on this blog tour.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
On a summer day in 1946 Sally Werner, the precocious young daughter of hardscrabble Pennsylvania farmers, secretly accepts her cousin’s invitation to ride his new motorcycle. Like so much of what follows in Sally’s life, it’s an impulsive decision with dramatic and far-reaching consequences. Soon she abandons her home to begin a daring journey of self-creation, the truth of which she entrusts only with her granddaughter and namesake, six decades later. But when young Sally’s father–a man she has never known–enters her life and offers another story altogether, she must uncover the truth of her grandmother’s secret history.
Boldly rendered and beautifully told, in FOLLOW ME Joanna Scott has crafted a paean to the American tradition of re-invention and a sweeping saga of timeless and tender storytelling.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Joanna Scott is the author of nine books, including The Manikin, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; Various Antidotes and Arrogance, which were both finalists for the PEN/Faulkner Award; and the critically acclaimed Make Believe, Tourmaline, and Liberation. A recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Lannan Award, she lives with her family in upstate New York.
Check out some of the other tour stops for Follow Me here, but here a few to whet your appetite: