About the book:
"On a summer day in 1946, Sally Werner, the precocious daughter of hardscrabble Pennsylvania farmers, accepts her cousin Daniel's invitation to ride his new motorcycle. Like so much of what follows in Sally's life, it's a decision driven by impulse and a thirst for adventure, a decision with dramatic and far-reaching consequences."
Soon Sally abandons her newborn baby, the result of her impetuous joyride. Shamed, confused, and filled with a yearning to have a bigger life than the one ahead of her, she finds work, she finds love, she finds people of great kindness and others whose cruelty would crush a weaker woman. Fueled in equal measure by her eternal optimism and her mercurial moods, she embarks on an odyssey of self-creation that spans six decades, the story of which she entrusts to only one person: her granddaughter and namesake. It's an uncommon legacy that young Sally believes until her father - a man she has never known - enters her life and offers another story altogether, forcing her to uncover the truth of her grandmother's secret history.
Follow Me is a beautifully written book. It is slow starting and difficult to get into, but at times the writing is almost lyrical and vivid. I've had a difficult time putting my finger on why I didn't love it, when I know that so many people did.
In 1947, 16-year old Sally Werner runs away from home, leaving her newborn son in a basket on her parent's kitchen table. Running away is what Sally does best. She runs away, lands on her feet and when things get difficult, runs away again. Fortunately, each time she runs away from a difficult situation, she finds good, caring people who help her.
The words, saga, tragic and secret come to mind when describing this novel. Sally's story is a saga full of tragic family secrets that destroy relationships.
The story is told by Sally's namesake granddaughter as Sally shared it with her. Sally's story is vivid and interesting and as soon as you get into it, the modern day granddaughter steps in, dropping hints of what is to come. Towards the end, the narration changes to become the granddaughter's father telling her his version of what happened between himself and Sally's daughter.
Occasional, unnecessary, and graphic profanity, which is the main reason it didn't get 3 stars.
Thanks to Miriam Parker at Hatchette Books and the Early Bird Blog Tour for the opportunity to review this book. For a summary of the book and a list of other book bloggers participating in this tour, go here. You can purchase your own copy here.