Follow Me To Ground is the story of Ada and her father who live outside a village they serve by curing what ails them. They sometimes have to bury them in “The Ground” for a few days for the cure to work, but most of them they can open them up with their hands and remove the illness, sometimes singing it away. They keep to themselves, other than when the Cures, their word for the townspeople, come for a treatment.
That changes when a vital young man comes for a cure and Ada falls for him. The two begin seeing each other secretly though his pregnant sister is suspicious and tries to warn Ada off. So does Ada’s father who keeps telling her there is a sickness in him. This leads to a crisis and Ada takes decisive and shocking action.
I think if Follow Me To Ground were as long as a conventional novel it would have dragged, but it is the perfect length for its story which is fairly simple despite the weighty ideas. This is very much a show-not-tell sort of book and Ada jumps right in describing Cures as she performs them so we quickly learn we are in some fantastical story.
I confess when Samson turned out to have a truck, I was disconcerted for a moment. It felt like a story out of time and yet, just like that, I realized it was happening more or less in the present. This made it feel strange and less probable. It also made the penny not dropping for Ada less likely. Yet, the penny never dropped.
I am unsure whether I can really say I liked the book, but I won’t forget it. It made me uncomfortable and has provoked a lot of thinking while doing other things. I finished it Saturday morning and have thought about it over and over again since then. It is a memorable book that was hard to put down, but likable. Not even close.
I received an e-galley of Follow Me To Ground from the publisher through NetGalley.
Follow Me To Ground at Scribner | Simon & Schuster
Sue Rainsford author site