Follow Me – Joanna Scott

Title: Follow Me
Author: Joanna Scott
ISBN: 9780316051651
Pages: 432
Release Date: April 22, 2009
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Literary Fiction
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

From the publisher’s website:

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.

Follow Me was an interesting novel about a woman named Sally Werner.  The book spans over sixty years; it starts at Sally’s flight from home at the age of sixteen and covers her lifetime, plus has interludes about her daughter and granddaughter interspersed in between the chapters of Sally’s life.

The story of Follow Me is told from two points of view.  Sally’s is the main storyline and takes up most of the novel.  The other voice is Sally’s granddaughter, who fills in a lot of the gaps of Sally’s life, as well as what happened after her death.  She also corrects some of the information that Sally gives the reader, meaning we often hear one story from two different points of view.

Sally herself is a well-written and engaging character.  At first I was worried because I really didn’t like her.  She was selfish and felt like she deserved things that she really didn’t.  She took advantage of people who were kind to her and, in one instance, lived off of someone’s charity without being appreciative in the last.  However, over the course of the book, Sally changes.  She begins to realize the importance of gratitude and starts to appreciate other people.  She also tries to give back, rather than acting like she deserves tributes from others.

Follow Me is a beautifully written novel.  Joanna Scott’s prose is easy to read and incredibly fluid.  However, the book is very long for the story contained within its pages; I often found my attention wandering while I was reading it.  There wasn’t really a driving force in the novel, nothing to propel the story forward.  Also, though Sally grew on me as the novel progressed, I never fully warmed to her character.

Still, Follow Me is a solid read that fans of literary fiction will likely enjoy.  Thank you to Miriam at Hachette for sending me this book to review!

Comments

  1. I still have mixed feelings about reading this book, but I’m caving and even entered one of the giveaways…

  2. I still have mixed feelings about reading this book, but I’m caving and even entered one of the giveaways…

  3. Sally was selfish at first, but I think it was because she received so little nurturing at home.

  4. Sally was selfish at first, but I think it was because she received so little nurturing at home.

  5. I had an English professor named Joanna Scott who was also a novelist. . . But I’ve also just learned that there are at least three other published authors named Joanna Scott! Unfortunately, I don’t think this is her.

  6. I had an English professor named Joanna Scott who was also a novelist. . . But I’ve also just learned that there are at least three other published authors named Joanna Scott! Unfortunately, I don’t think this is her.

  7. Swapna, I was the same with this novel. I found my mind wandering quite often. I liked the premise of the novel; it just didn’t always work for me.

  8. Swapna, I was the same with this novel. I found my mind wandering quite often. I liked the premise of the novel; it just didn’t always work for me.

  9. I’m sorry it didn’t grab you the whole way through. But thanks for giving it a shot! 🙂

  10. I’m sorry it didn’t grab you the whole way through. But thanks for giving it a shot! 🙂

  11. Fantastic review! I had some trouble getting into it too, but them I really enjoyed it!

  12. Fantastic review! I had some trouble getting into it too, but them I really enjoyed it!

  13. You and I seem to agree on this one re: the length. I eventually *did* warm to Sally, but it took some time. I don’t think this will appeal to every reader, but I think it will appeal to those readers who don’t mind a slow, thoughtful, very literary novel.

  14. You and I seem to agree on this one re: the length. I eventually *did* warm to Sally, but it took some time. I don’t think this will appeal to every reader, but I think it will appeal to those readers who don’t mind a slow, thoughtful, very literary novel.

  15. I thought the book was long, too. While I never really liked Sally, I thought she was an interesting character. I kept reading even though I had a hard time getting into the story because I wanted to know what happened to her.

    –Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

  16. I thought the book was long, too. While I never really liked Sally, I thought she was an interesting character. I kept reading even though I had a hard time getting into the story because I wanted to know what happened to her.

    –Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

  17. I like the premise of it, and btw the cover is gorgeous!

  18. I like the premise of it, and btw the cover is gorgeous!

  19. Great review! I keep seeing mixed reviews, but I think this is a book I’m going to enjoy.

    Cheryl
    megalon22[at]yahoo[dot]com

  20. Great review! I keep seeing mixed reviews, but I think this is a book I’m going to enjoy.

    Cheryl
    megalon22[at]yahoo[dot]com

  21. When I first read the description of this book, I wasn’t sure if it was one I would like. However,
    with all the good buzz in the tour, I think I woold enjoy it. Now I know more about it.

  22. When I first read the description of this book, I wasn’t sure if it was one I would like. However,
    with all the good buzz in the tour, I think I woold enjoy it. Now I know more about it.

  23. I’m glad that you enjoyed this novel…this was rough going for me.

  24. I’m glad that you enjoyed this novel…this was rough going for me.

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