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Friday, May 8, 2009

Follow Me , by Joanna Scott - Review

On April 27th a large group of Bloggers hosted a blog tour forJoanna Scott's, Follow Me. Here is that list. Thank you Drey from Drey's Library for making the list. She is just kind of nice that way! I didn't finish the book in time for the tour. But I still posted and got involved in the hooplah. I was great to read all the reviews while I was MID-Book. It is kind of like a big book club.

My review:

I really enjoyed this book. More than enjoyed the book. The writing for me is captivating, descriptive and outstanding. I was surprised at first at some of the writing, meaning it was not expected. It reminded me of reading Virginia Woolf or Faulkner in the stream of consciousness writing style at times. It was unique but it had that feel to me at times, in addition feeling like a poem at times.

And all though I was surprised, it was certainly welcomed. By the time I got through 175 pages was no longer with a reading deadline, I savored the book, page by page. I literally read about 30 pages a day. Sometimes in my car at lunch I could just sit a few moments and think about a phrase, think about Sally, the River, Rondo, and the others in the story.

There is a very marvelously written and interesting audio diary in the story and I liked that point of view that was interjected into the story, along with Sally Jr's side of the story. I got caught up in this story of simple people, in simple towns in a not so simple situation. Maybe in the way that I enjoyed the smallness of the town in Empire Falls, by Richard Russo. There is a very long letter at the end of the book. I really liked that letter also. (being vague so as not to spoil).

For me the book got better and better as the page turned. Also it didn't have to be gripping or a page turner that kept me reading until I was done in one night. Like a gourmet meal, I was satisfied with a literary meal each night and read more the next day. Once this story clicked for me I found that I didn't want to pick up my knitting. I wanted to read this book. I really got transported to the time and setting in the book.

I loved the way the story centered around the Tuskee River. Books that have a central geographic tie into the story really seem be a draw for me. With that in mind, I thought that this book reminded me in ways of Kingsolver's, Prodigal Summer. I seriously love that book!

Early on, I had this focus on Sally and her mistakes and her running, after awhile it wasn't about her mistakes and the running. It was about the now and moving forward and the effect. As the book progressed, I enjoyed the ties in with historical events. (Presidents, songs, wars...etc).

This quote in particular caused me to just pause a moment and think and run for a sticky note.

Page 155 "It seems strange that the dire escalations on the other side of the world aren't registered here; there is no smoke in the air, no blood spray specking the sidewalk. We take this calm for granted. Spaces are wide in this region, building are low, most families carry more debt than they'll ever be able to pay off in their lifetimes. There's little here that would be worth the risk of an attack, though at the same time I'd wager that there's nothing not worth the risk of a story.
The ladybug bumping against my windowpane, trying to get in.
A woman in sweats pushing a stroller along the sidewalk.
The wail of a siren in the distance.
The words hoarded in this box of a machine, along with all the dubious information available at the touch of a key."

This kind of writing just really impressed me. The whole book is not written like that but it supplied plenty of chewy morsels in that fashion.

Okay.. well when I get affected by a book I could really go on. I could post passage after passage. For me it was simply that good. So I will sum it up by saying it is not your everyday meal. It is gourmet. I hope you enjoy the book.

Thank you again Miriam from Hachette for providing me with a copy of the book for the tour.
( My apologies for the late review).

I just wanted to note that for those that don't blog, when you hear of a blog tour coming up, if you have access to the book, feel free to read along and go from blog to blog to comment. (even later on when you read it) It is a great way to be involved and further interest yourself in a book. Just jump in and comment. It doesn't have to be anything special. You are always welcome.
Book stats:
Category: FICTION
Publish Date :4/22/2009
Price: $24.99/$27.99
ISBN :9780316051651
Pages: 432
Size: 6" x 9-1/4"


bermudaonion said...

I agree that the book got better and better with each page. Great review.

Jo-Jo said...

I'm glad you liked this one Toni...I have this one for review as well, but just haven't had a chance to get to it yet.

Ti said...

I haven't read this one yet but I like what you said about it being a literary meal. I really like that term. My ears perked when I read it :)

Kelly said...

I feel terrible, I think I'm the only person on the whole planet that just couldn't get into this book! I read all the way to page 185 before giving up; I found the descriptive stream of consciousness writing just too much for me to handle. (I haven't quit on a book in over two years! Of course..that one was Life of Pi, yet another book EVERYONE in the world loves. I think I'm just a total Philistine...)

Serena said...

I'm glad you got the time to savor the writing and the book. I was not happy reading this book. I really didn't like sally...and sometimes the writing seemed to just go on and on without direction...which probably stems from the fact that I didn't like sally and wanted her to get on with it already. LOL

Toni said...

Bermudiaonion - yes.. it got better. Sally's antics got less annoying.. and she grew up a little.

Jo-Jo - I am interested in what you think of this one.

Ti - Sometimes I am weird that way. Our book club read Mrs. Dalloway and I got lost in the book and savored it and it was the most incredible book to me. They wanted to throw it across the room. Some did. :)

Kelly.. don't feel terrible... not all books are for everyone.. Also... This book might have not even been for me depending on my mood. I am a moody reader.

Serena... I liked Sally but then I didn't. Even after the running stops, she is the drunk mom singing to her daughter. That bothered me...even if I knew the why of it all. After I didn't make the book so much about Sally and got into other aspects of the book... it got better for me.

Jenn's Bookshelves said...

I'm so glad you liked Follow Me...although there were some slow parts, I enjoyed the detail of Scott's writing. Very reminiscent of a certain author with very detailed (almost too detailed) writing style. One of my favorite writers, John Steinbeck!

Bonnie said...

I'm glad that you liked this one Toni. I thought that the author had a wonderful descriptive writing style but I found it was too drawn out. I didn't care for Sally and her choices. I did enjoy the parts further along in the book related to her granddaughter Sally and her father.

I hadn't thought of a blog tour like a book club! That's a great way of looking at it. We all have different perspectives and reading experiences and can share that related to one book.

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Kaye said...

It sounds like you really rnjoyed the book. I want to wish you a happy mother's day. Have a good one!

Darlene said...

Great review Toni! I'm glad you enjoyed the book so much.

Margot said...

I saw your review on Library Thing and came to check out your blog. Your face is familiar as I've seen you in the comment section of various blogs. Nice to 'meet' you.

I see that you are also reading Royal Blood. I am about half way through it and plan to post my review this week. Perhaps we can coordinate?

Anna said...

I thought the writing was great, but the book just moved too slowly for my tastes. I'm glad to hear you loved it, though.

Diary of an Eccentric

Gwendolyn B. said...

This is on my wish list - so glad you enjoyed it so much. Thanks for the quote - it's nice to get a little taste!

Wanda said...

Good to hear you enjoyed the book, Toni. Mixed reviews keep things interesting (just like a book club).