Joanna Scott: Follow Me

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The latest addition to my website is Joanna Scott‘s Follow Me. This is another first-class novel from Scott, telling the story of Sally Werner (she has several pseudonyms), a woman from near the fictitious Tuskee River in Northern Pennsylvania, born of religious German parents, who does not fit in with her parents’ and siblings’ way of life. She gets pregnant (from a cousin), has the baby but refuses to marry the cousin, leaves the baby on her parents’ kitchen table and flees. She moves up the Tuskee River, each time finding a place to stay and a life, till events intervene and she has to move on again. At the same time as we follow her story (told by her granddaughter), we also follow the story of her granddaughter and the granddaughter’s parents, particularly her father. He had attempted suicide when his wife (Sally Werner’s daughter) had become pregnant and then, failing in that, had fled and started a new life for himself, just as his mother-in-law had done. Can this family settle down and have a straightforward life or will they always have to be on the move? Scott keeps us guessing, with an unreliable narrator and a few twists but, as always, tells a very good story.

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