Follow Me to Ground, by Sue Rainsford

“For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return”—so says the Book of Genesis. But in Follow Me to Ground, by Sue Rainsford, people have a habit of returning from the dust after they’ve been to see a pair of mysterious healers. Ada and her father have been around so long that they’ve entered local folklore for their miraculous cures and the strange things that happen around them. In this imaginative and sometimes disturbing novel, we learn that even these beings that can heal just about any ailment, don’t know everything.

Ada is well along on her apprenticeship to the creature she calls father when we meet her at the beginning of Follow Me to Ground. As such, she is more than confident about curing injuries to pregnant women, cancers, and more. In fact, she’s dangerously confident when it comes to her ability to cure things that her father says are impossible. The only things they cannot cure are diseases of the mind; they can’t excise depression…or the kind of unacceptable desires that are only obliquely referenced in this novel.

Ada is not entirely arrogant when we meet her, however. She is curious about the world around her and the sensations that lead her to begin a sexual relationship with a local young man who isn’t put off by her strangeness. Not is she put off by the rumors about Samson, that he might be attracted to her because she doesn’t look like a full-grown woman. Ada, no matter whether or not she is human, behaves a lot like a teenaged human girl: she is firmly convinced that she is in love and that love is more important than any warnings her father delivered.

Follow Me to Ground is a brief novel. Readers who want more world-building may be disappointed by how little attention is paid to the Ground, the healing dirt that Ada and her father use, or what they are and where their powers come from. Still, this novel contains plenty of drama, mystery, and tension to keep readers entertained, even if readers will be left with questions unanswered.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, for review consideration.


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