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Follow Me

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Follow Me Cover

ISBN13: 9780316051651
ISBN10: 0316051659
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"A granddaughter sifts through her grandmother's rich and mysterious life in Pulitzer finalist Scott's latest. As a teenager in 1946, Sally Werner experiences something between rape and seduction at the hands of her cousin, resulting in a baby, family shame and her running away. Each time Sally feels her past catching up with her, she finds a new town and assumes a new identity, eventually graduating from taking the charity — and more — of others to supporting herself. A doomed love affair, a cat and mouse chase with the brutal father of a second child, and a longing for safety and freedom keep Sally moving until she settles down and her daughter, Penelope, inherits her restless energy. As the novel, and Sally's life, draws to a close, we get a final look at this remarkable woman through the eyes of her granddaughter, also named Sally, and through the younger Sally's once absent father, Abe. A retelling of the archetypal American journey from a female perspective, this rendering of the perils and triumphs facing women is imbued with a questing spirit." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

Who of us hasn't indulged in the daydream of running away and reinventing ourselves? Just slam the door on that messy household, wander down the road and start fresh with a new identity in a white-walled studio apartment. Even if we aren't brave enough, or foolish enough, to chuck it all, we're drawn to fictional characters who have — from Hawthorne's Wakefield to Ann Tyler's fugitive housewife.

... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Synopsis:

In 1946, Sally Werner abandons her home to begin a daring journey of self-creation, the truth of which she entrusts only with her granddaughter, six decades later. But when the younger Sally's father enters her life and offers another story, she must uncover the truth of her grandmother's past.

About the Author

Joanna Scott is the author of

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B&b ex libris, April 27, 2009 (view all comments by B&b ex libris)

When a young girl longs to learn of her family, of her heritage she is in for an exciting narration from her grandmother (AKA Sally Werner). She makes the young girl promise to never tell another soul what she is going to tell her, as she has never told anyone herself. In her grandmother's words she pieces together the mystery of her father's choices, and mostly the choice he made to leave her, a choice she lives with daily. Her family secrets are what make up a history of hardship and difficulty, however at the same time she realizes that within her family's history fanciful legends and tales hold the same value as the truth. However when she is confronted with her father, a man she had never known because of his choice to (after a failed suicide attempt) leave both she and her mother for a better life, she learns that he has another story all together about her grandmother. But could the elaborate story that her grandmother entrusted to her may only be fiction after all?

Follow Me is an interesting portrayal of family difficulties, discrepancies in family history and more than anything the lives that become that history. Since lives are lived only by one person, and seen by others in a much different light than one intends, history of the living is difficult to nail down. Follow Me is a novel of mysteries, family secrets and after a full dose of half-truths and some lies, there is a family history that evolves.

My thoughts are scattered on this read. I did enjoy the writing, it was as fluid and practical as it was elegant. Joanna Scott is an amazing storyteller and an extremely gifted writer, the tale flows from her words with ease. The only problem was that sometimes it seemed like it was too at ease, too leisurely, and I wished to learn faster. I found it interesting, but felt myself lagging behind in the thrill of it. I didn't completely fall head-over-heels with Sally Werner either, who this story is really about. For me it was mostly that somehow I felt I needed to be guarded against her because her choices made me nervous, and when I was allowed to know her thoughts about herself they were so harsh- that it just made me distrust her. By far the biggest fault of the book, which may be my own, is that I just lacked that personal bond with the characters. I did enjoy this read though, just not as much as I had hoped when it started out.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780316051651
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Scott, Joanna
Publisher:
Back Bay Books
Subject:
Grandmothers
Subject:
Pennsylvania
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Family secrets
Subject:
Historical fiction
Subject:
Biographical fiction
Publication Date:
20100729
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
448
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 x 1.25 in 0.9 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Follow Me Used Hardcover
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$9.95 In Stock
Product details 448 pages Little Brown and Company - English 9780316051651 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "A granddaughter sifts through her grandmother's rich and mysterious life in Pulitzer finalist Scott's latest. As a teenager in 1946, Sally Werner experiences something between rape and seduction at the hands of her cousin, resulting in a baby, family shame and her running away. Each time Sally feels her past catching up with her, she finds a new town and assumes a new identity, eventually graduating from taking the charity — and more — of others to supporting herself. A doomed love affair, a cat and mouse chase with the brutal father of a second child, and a longing for safety and freedom keep Sally moving until she settles down and her daughter, Penelope, inherits her restless energy. As the novel, and Sally's life, draws to a close, we get a final look at this remarkable woman through the eyes of her granddaughter, also named Sally, and through the younger Sally's once absent father, Abe. A retelling of the archetypal American journey from a female perspective, this rendering of the perils and triumphs facing women is imbued with a questing spirit." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , In 1946, Sally Werner abandons her home to begin a daring journey of self-creation, the truth of which she entrusts only with her granddaughter, six decades later. But when the younger Sally's father enters her life and offers another story, she must uncover the truth of her grandmother's past.
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