Reading this book was a unique experience, for sure. The closest thing I could compare it to would be The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh, but even that isn’t adequate. It’s more like a long-lost Grimm’s fairy tale about female sexuality. Follow Me To Ground centers around a young woman who lives with her father, and together they heal the ailments of the town’s citizens, who are called Cures. They do so by opening up people’s bodies and taking the sickness, which manifests in a tangible form, out of them. Sometimes the healing requires putting someone “to ground,” essentially burying them until The Ground decides they are ready to come up again.The young woman, named Ada, begins an affair with a newcomer named Samson, to the disapproval of both Samson’s pregnant sister and Ada’s father.
The writing style is poetic and invokes a sense of isolation and other-worldliness, which helped draw me into the story. The world Rainsford creates is weird, but she makes it believable. It was easy to accept the bizarre healing processes and the way that Ada was borne from The Ground and how her father hunts on all fours like an animal. The lyrical prose and the way that situations are never quite fully explained also lend themselves to the fairy tale-like quality of the story.
Without giving too much away, the author explores themes such as agency, desire, and morality in somewhat unexpected ways. No character in this story is truly “good” or “bad,” and it’s difficult to tell who holds the power in this world, especially since The Ground is a character in itself. This book is a fairly short read (just under 200 pages), so if you are interested in fiction that’s a bit experimental, I would highly recommend Follow Me To Ground.
Right now, this is a four-star book for me. I’m being more stingy when it comes to giving out a full five-star rating, and while I loved this book, I don’t think it will end up being a favorite of mine.