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Follow After Me

Look up, and swear by the green of the spring that you'll never forget

(12 customer reviews)
Authors: Allison Paterson
Young Adults, Fiction
C Format

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Included on the 2020 Queensland & NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge list.

Two young women, a century apart, are mysteriously connected by a tiny key. Will they discover who they are and where their hearts belong?

2018 – Tired of being the perfect daughter, student and sister, Lizzie abandons old friends and safe-choices for a risky and life-changing relationship with the dangerous and charismatic Brandon. Watching his classmate fall into a trap, Nick tries to intervene. But is it too late? Will Lizzie listen?

1916 – Evie’s dreams are torn apart by war. As her childhood sweetheart Tom leaves to serve his country, she gives him a small key, the key to her heart. He promises to return the tiny talisman to Evie. Will Tom keep his word? Can Evie muster the courage to defy family expectations and pursue her dreams?

In this powerful story of courage, passion and heartbreak, Lizzie and Evie discover that finding a lost part of yourself may just come from the spirit and the actions of those who came before.

An intriguing tale of serendipity, hidden stories and invisible bonds stretched across time.

Follow After Me is an empowering young adult novel about finding a lost part of yourself in the spirit of the people who came before you. It is a beautiful story about serendipity, hidden stories and invisible bonds that time will never erase.

Allison Paterson

Allison Paterson

Allison Paterson is the author of the 2016 ABIA and CBCA longlisted title Anzac Sons: Five Brothers on the Western Front, the children’s version of her adult non-fiction title Anzac Sons: the Story of Five Brothers in the War to End All Wars. She has written four other children’s books, Granny’s Place and Shearing Time […]

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12 reviews for Follow After Me

  1. A wonderful novel that takes the reader from current times to the drama and action of WWI. The modern day narrative is authentic and engaging and meshes beautifully with the story from the past. A moving and satisfying novel that transports the reader to an important part of Australian history.

  2. “Follow After Me” is about choices and finding yourself through your ancestors’ legacy. A poignant marrying of past and present which truly resonated with me and I am usually a reluctant war story reader. Highly recommended and tissues required. Barb

  3. What a captivating, emotive, heart wrenching, compelling page-turning novel! The historical detail of tragedy and suffering was vivid and real but filled with hope. An effortless time-slip gel of a read.

  4. I was swept along with the historical references and story of the Windridge family. Allison has written compelling accounts of the battles in horrendous conditions of World War One. Only at the conclusion of the book in Author Acknowledgements did I discover the research is based on her own Marlow family history. The vivid battle conditions and terrible loss of life suffered by rural Australian families. I will now need to read Anzac Sons: The Story of Five Brothers in the War to End All Wars.

  5. (verified owner)

    Raw. Open. Honest. Heartbreaking. Controversial. Captivating. Inspiring. Powerful. Impressions made by Follow After Me.

    Paterson’s alluring language and synchronised dual narrative absolutely pulled me in to dimensions of multiple emotions that many books rarely possess. She explores and raises many, and some fairly evocative, concepts, too, including womens’ rights and equality, peer pressure, modern-day social media pressures and sexual assault. Certainly topics up for discussion for today’s mature adolescents, particularly with respect to the current #MeToo movement.

  6. (verified owner)

    Follow After Me is an intriguing and cleverly weaved culmination of history and fiction; including inspired real life letters of Allison’s five war hero ancestors (as documented in her award-winning Anzac Sons), and also parts taken from her own upbringing as written for the 2017 narrative. I especially appreciated the special connections of the ‘key’, the ancient scar tree and the similarities in strength and adversity that tied the two young women together; Evie in 1917, and her great-granddaughter Lizzie in 2017 – who both grapple with testing relationships, personal choices, family life challenges and self identity / worth despite living decades apart.

  7. (verified owner)

    This is one of those books that contains intense moments that truly cut to the core, but oh, an absolute page-turner that readers from age 14 and up will willingly ‘follow’ to the end.

  8. (verified owner)

    Follow After Me delves deeply into the profound. On multiple levels Allison Paterson’s personal connections are certainly felt, and the way she writes allows each of her readers to discover their own connections as well. Her key sentiment is one that rings wise and true; (from her interview) “look to the past and be inspired by the strengths and actions of others, then go ahead and forge your own path.”

  9. Romantic and sad; confronting and gentle . . . and worthy of recommendation. Highly recommended

  10. Allison Marlow Paterson has based her World War I story line on her own family history detailed in her non-fiction work, Anzac Sons. Because of the truths of the circumstances from her own ancestry, this story resonates with tragedy. The facts of the war are well-detailed from her own research, and using her own family records and information from the Australian War Memorial. The setting of both generational tales in rural Australia is also revealing

  11. (verified owner)

    One of the biggest lessons I learnt while reading this story was about empathy and understanding – something that a number of my teenage students could expose themselves a little more too. I think it is particularly important in this current social and political climate for young people to recognise the importance of context and someone’s personal history and the impact that this has on who they are as a person.

    By showing the alternating perspectives through a series of letters from the past (with the context being World War I) to the present, one can see how one’s understanding of the current world around them can shift when presented with more information.

    In terms of characterisation, I found both Lizzie and Evie intriguing – though Evie, for me, had a more believable character arc. I think it came down to the gravity of her context and the maturity that she had no choice but to display that made her my preferred protagonist. Lizzie, though her emergence stage was earned at the end of the story, came across as too much of a cliche and I found that the supporting characters around her, especially her brother and Nick, saved her from becoming two dimensional.

    I absolutely devoured the sections of the story that were in the epistolary style – the letters showed a range of emotion and perspective, especially since they were not all from Evie’s point of view. The combination of the different brothers’ voices also allows the reader to further develop a clearer knowledge of the impacts of World War I on both those in the trenches and back at home.
    I am looking forward to adding this novel to my classroom bookshelf and recommending it to my students!

  12. As a History teacher it can sometimes be difficult to have the generations of today connect with those of the past. However, Follow After Me does this in an appropriate and masterful way. Paterson has captured the essence of what it means to be a teenager in the 21st Century and the trials and tribulations they face but equally and seamlessly woven that into the experiences of young people a century ago. She clearly highlights the universal human themes that bridge the generations and this is expertly connected through the family generational ties done with outstanding descriptions of the Australian landscape. Apart from thoroughly enjoying the read, it has made me think the ways as an educator I can continue to engage the children of today with their past.

    Jason Foster
    History Teacher & Author

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