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Follow Me by Joanna Scott.. Genre blending mash-up fit for sitting out a blizzard in a log cabin with a low-burning fire. This book’s haints break through the fourth wall, bringing American folklore right into the present where one of them might just grab the 3D TV remote.

Joel Gardner, LitSnap Editor

"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. In her lyrical new novel, "Follow Me," Joanna Scott traces the meandering path of a runaway girl from place to place, name to name, starting as 16-year-old Sally Werner in 1947 rural Pennsylvania. Her saga begins with an innocent motorcycle ride with an older cousin at a church picnic, which results in a baby son and rejection by her fundamentalist parents. She decides her only option is escape, following the Tuskee River that snakes across the Werners' back fields. "Running, running, running, because that's what a girl does who has left her baby in a basket on top of the kitchen table, like a pile of fresh-baked biscuits. . . . How many lives start over this way, by putting one foot in front of the other?" Over the next four decades, she washes up in towns farther along the Tuskee, surviving on the kindness of strangers -- a bundle of cash from an elderly farmer, a free bed from a lush, a typist job from a lawyer who has a crush on her. But every time Sally catches a glimpse of security and happiness, tragedy strikes, usually at the hand of a man: A lover is killed in an accident, the father of her second child nearly beats her to death, and Sally is off again. Her many reincarnations are pieced together years later by her granddaughter and a man who believes he is the infant that Sally abandoned.."

The Washington Post

"[Scott] has here fashioned a densely stitched crazy quilt of a story...there's a lusciousness to all the excess, an egalitarian sensibility in keeping with the most quintessential aspects of American mythology.."

New York Times Book Review

Author bio: Joanna 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. More information can be found here:

Book Details: Fiction Other; 420 pp. Mythic scope: Kindle/Print editions

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