About Me

My photo
Hello, my name is Valorie. I have a Master's Degree in History and a license to teach-- I have been both university professor and public school teacher. Currently, I am a middle school social studies teacher. I love horror movies and spooky things. Every day is Halloween. I am also a passionate book blogger.

Featured Post

Book Review: 23:27 by H.L. Roberts

Monday, April 27, 2009

Book Review: Follow Me by Joanna Scott

Title: Follow Me
Author(s): Joanna Scott
Genre: Fiction - Drama
Finished: April 27, 2009

Sally Werner, a Pennsylvania farm girl, decides to throw caution to the wind and take a ride on her cousin's motorcycle. This choice will change her life forever. A teenager mother in 1946, she abandons her baby boy with her family and runs away to start a new life only a few miles away. Sally runs to escape the people she feels judges her for her mistakes. Yet the unfortunate nature of her life is that she always feels like she has to run away and start over again. Most of the time, this is the result of her own feelings of threat and failure. With each new place that Sally runs to, she adopts a new name, a name she feels will change her fortune and reflects something she has left behind or wishes to be. Along the way Sally has another child, a daughter named Penelope. As Sally runs, so too does Penelope until Penelope meets auburn haired Abe and falls in love. Sally's story is told by her namesake and granddaughter, the child of Penelope and Abe. Towards the end of the book, the shocking family "secret" is revealed by Sally and drives Abe away. Scott has a beautiful way with words.

The imagery the author uses to describe the world around Sally invokes a clear picture of the trickling Tuskee River and the small, rural Pennsylvania towns Sally hops to and from. There are times when Sally expresses a self-doubt and detachment that I have felt many times. I can see a lot of myself in Sally, especially in the way that she regards the world as a struggling outsider looking in, always waiting for her moment to feel connected. Sally's internal dynamic is interesting as well because she is a contradicting mixture of strong and assured, but also weak and afraid. It takes a lot of guts to pick up and start over again, but Sally does this each time because she wants to escape the people around her. So, it's hard to tell what Sally is and that makes her more realistic. Sally is a bundle of one inconsistency after another as most of us are. Sally has a hard life, but she doesn't make it any better for herself each time she runs away. The thing she is good at, singing, she purposefully stuffs away for a long time. Again, this is something that I find familiarity in. Sally is not without remorse for leaving her son behind, or for leaving some of the people who helped her early on as she was just getting on her feet. Even as she runs away, she always looks back on the people she has left behind. I honestly enjoyed this book from page one. Since Sally's life is cut up into chunks, each stage is paced just right that I didn't feel any lag in the plot. As I said above, the descriptions are both beautiful and believable. Scott is a truly talented writer. With just a few words, she is able to evoke emotion and reality all in one breath. It takes talent to captivate, which Follow Me certain does.

No comments:

Post a Comment