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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Review: Follow Me by Joanna Scott

I’ve been trying to figure out how to review Joanna Scott’s novel, Follow Me for the longest time. I was supposed to participate in the blog tour, way back when, and I completely bailed. At the time, I blamed my inability to get into this book on the fact that I had pneumonia and felt like snail slime. But I did read a couple other books when I was sick and enjoyed them. I decided to pull the book of the shelf and look through it this morning prior to (finally) writing my review. I place little post-it tabs throughout books I read. An interesting phrase may be noted, a word I don’t know, just something that caught my eye. I guess my feelings about Follow Me can be summed up with a couple of paragraphs I marked in the book and the note I made to myself on the post-it.

“Scrappy changeling, there and not there, transforming herself with a snap of her fingers. Good-bye, hello. Dear Sally, I’m your namesake. Wait for me. You should listen to what I have to say. I have the advantage, after all, of living in your future. I know what’s in store for you. Of course, that makes it more difficult to be accurate in my description of the past and keep the facts compatible.”

Or another marked passage,

“Touch your fingertip to a bubble. Feel the pop of cold. Cold, clear water squeezed from subterranean stone. Water seeping into the spring, filling the basin, spilling over the mossy slate ledge, flowing with a persistence peculiar to rivers, tumbling across a wide plateau, over a hillock, and down, down, down, for two hundred and sixty curving miles to the lake.” …..And it goes on and on and on…..

Both post-its say the same thing…..”WTF???” Apparently I was a bit, shall we say, bemused by the writing style. (Note to self…avoid all forms of novels described as “lyrical” by wiser, smarter and classier fellow bloggers…)

Yup, sorry, I hated it. Didn’t get past page 184. And that took me a week. Don’t get me wrong. I really wanted to like it. And I tried. I could even see my Grandma in Sally. I hoped I’d figure out that my grandma, like Sally, started out as a relatively happy girl and the crap in her life made her into such a bitter, cantankerous old biddy. And maybe Sally and Grandma were a lot alike. I’ll never know because the author’s stream of consciousness description’s that just went on and on drove me nuts. And no…it wasn’t just the pain pills and cough syrup talkin’ either! I re-read a couple of pages today, and nope, still can’t read it!

I think it’s probably a pretty good book, but I’m just possibly too shallow for it. So, I’m sorry, Joanna. I think you’re a perfectly lovely person, but this former farm girl is just too uncultured and borderline Redneck to appreciate it!

My rating—is not fair because I didn’t even finish the book, but what the heck, it’s my blog and I can darn well be unfair….


Melanie said...

The writing style does sound a lot like poetry. Most of the time I'm too analytical to understand any of it. The over is pretty!

Mary (Bookfan) said...

Oh my gosh, I just got off the floor from laughing :D
You had me with the WTF post-it! How many times have I felt the same way?!! I've stayed away from this because I suspected what you came to find was true. But then, I'm a former small-town (surrounded by farms) girl, lol. Hope your next read is more satisfying!

KR said...

I plowed through it but I found it hard to read. Glad to know it wasn't just me!!!

Desert Rose said...

Uh-oh I hope I like it, you are scaring me ;)

Shannansbooks said...

I did not want to read this book and a you just confirmed why. Thanks for the review. I am not in to Lyrical books either that is why I wanted to throw Women in Love by D.H. Lawrence out the window.

Toni said...

Great review! I am getting looks from co-workers cuz' I am smiling at my desk. But... I kinda liked the book and the tie in with the story and the Tuskee River. Admittedly this is not an everyday read for me. Once again.. I love loved your review.

bermudaonion said...

Sorry this didn't work for you. It took me a while to get into this book, but I ended up liking it a lot.

Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

I didn't love this one either.

Bonnie said...

I wasn't that fond of this book either but did finish it. I found it very slow going and I just didn't connect to or care for Sally very much. I did like the last portion of the book when Sally's grandaughter shared her story. Hey, not every book is for everyone and I appreciate your honesty and sense of humor about it! It's not easy to write a review about a book that you don't care for.