Follow Me to Ground

In this serenely haunting tale, told in prose at once lyrical and unsettling, a lonely inhuman girl running a magical curing business with her father searches for a way to come alive.

Ada and her father were born of the Ground; though they appear human, not all within is flesh. Vital to their acceptance in town is their ability to cure illness. The Cures, as they call the townspeople, need them to treat their sundry ailments. Ada and her father tease the Cures open, sing away their sickness, and temporarily bury them when necessary while their extracted organs heal. Stifled by the monotony of serving customers, Ada doesn't feel alive until she meets Samson, a Cure her father forbids her to love, believing he's dangerously sick. When Samson suggests they run away, Ada spooks. She won't lose him, but she can't leave. Her solution lies in the Ground--an act that might undo everything she and her father have built, and it rests on the precarious hope that she can have a fulfilling future.

Follow Me to Ground by debut author Sue Rainsford depicts the desperation fueled by loneliness. Tolerated only for her abilities, Ada craves true companionship. As a child, she wanted a sibling, but her father refused to create another. Ada has been "a long time in the desert," and her father's plan to extinguish her only pleasure seems like "sunshine bleaching everything." Visceral in its descriptions and carried by a spellbinding first-person narrative intertwined with lore from fearful Cures, this unworldly story is a well-crafted and eerie exploration of desire. --Samantha Zaboski, freelance editor and reviewer

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