book cover of Where I Can\'t Follow
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Where I Can't Follow

(2022)
A novel by

 
 
"Haunting and hopeful...a magic so vivid it feels more like a memory than a work of fiction."—Alix E. Harrow, New York Times bestselling author of The Once and Future Witches

NAMED A MOST-ANTICIPATED BOOK BY Good Housekeeping, Gizmodo, Den of Geek, Tor.com, and more!

Walk through the door and leave all your problems behind...but you don't know what's on the other side. And once you leave, you'll never come back. Will you go through?

Maren Walker told herself she wouldn't need to sell pills for long, that it was only means to an end. But that end seems to be stretching as far away as the other side of Blackdamp County, Kentucky. There's always another bill for Granny's doctor, another problem with the car, another reason she's getting nowhere.

She dreams of walking through her little door to leave it all behind. The doors have appeared to the people in her mountain town for as long as anyone can remember, though no one knows where they lead. All anyone knows is that if you go, you'll never come back.

Maren's mother left through her door when Maren was nine, and her shadow has followed Maren ever since. When she faces the possibility of escaping her struggles for good, Maren must choose just what kind of future she wants to build.

From critically acclaimed author Ashley Blooms, Where I Can't Follow explores the forces that hold people in place, and how they adapt, survive, and struggle to love a place that doesn't always love them back.



Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"Haunting and hopeful, a hard story full of shocking warmth and unexpected beauty. The little doors of Blackdamp are the kind of make-believe that feels true, a magic so vivid it feels more like a memory than a work of fiction." - Alix E Harrow

"The kind of books we need to need to set literary expectations for a new decade...so wonderfully terrifying, intimate and magical." - Kiese Laymon

"Where I Can't Follow is a powerful and unflinching look into emotion, place and its people, and what binds you even when not fully belonging. Ashley Blooms has written a haunting testament to the survival of self and family in a struggling, desperate Appalachian community." - Kim Michele Richardson

"With wisdom beyond her years, Blooms illuminates human frailty and elevates the humble journey. Her mountain tale of hardship comes wrapped in delicious language. I highlighted favorites phrases so I could re-read them and be stunned all over again. Her original voice is captivating and unique and delivers an ethereal story about trust triumphing over self-doubt. Congratulations, Ashley Blooms, on propelling our imagination toward a new dimension." - Leah Weiss

"Ashley Blooms novels have this in common with the tallest of trees: they are deftly rooted in the land of their origin, and yet their crowns, dappled with starlight, define a much broader world. In Where I Can't Follow, the twined themes of magical escape and what it means to be left behind build a brilliant stage on which Blooms' luminous cast of characters is transformed. A captivating novel that is at once personal and universal." - Fran Wilde


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