In front of me the long length of the road wound out, wound out and wound on under hot sky. And I drove…
Anne Marie is adrift San Padua, living a precarious life of shift-work and shared apartments. Her husband Cal left her on their first anniversary and two years later, she can’t move on.
When he shows up suddenly on her doorstep, clearly in some kind of trouble, she reluctantly agrees to a drink. But later that night a gun goes off in an alley near the shore and the young couple flee together, crammed into a beat up car with their broken past. Their ill-at-ease odyssey takes them across a shimmering American landscape and through the darker seams of the country, towards a city that may or may not represent salvation.
Highway Blue is a story of being lost and found; of love, in all its forms; and of how the pursuit of love is, in its turn, a kind of redemption.
My thoughts on Highway Blue
I have to be honest. The first thing that made we want a copy of Highway Blue was the cover. I found it intriguing. It promised a different kind of read, something I have been seeking out more and more lately. And that’s exactly what I got. Yes, this book started with a murder (as most of the books I read do, let’s be honest). But it quickly turned into so much more, a dark journey through a dark country, one where most people are living on the edge and seem to have given up hope.
If it doesn’t seem like the most cheerful of reads, it wasn’t. However, by the end, I felt uplifted. Anne Marie may have started the novel without hope but – somewhere along the way – she found it again. It made me feel that, just maybe, all was not lost. That she could end up having a good life, even if it had been pretty crappy so far. I wasn’t so keen on her ex-husband Cal, but I dont’ think I was supposed to be.
Anne Marie was one of the main reasons I liked this book. Beyond that though, it was the writing style. I could picture the landscape, the grittiness of it, the dirt and despair. And it forced me to read at a pace that made me feel I was speeding down the highly with Anne Marie and Cal. It was relentless. And the that this is a debut novel makes it even more impressive.
Overall, there wasn’t anything I didn’t enjoy about this book. Highly recommended.
Please note: I returned a copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. All thoughts, feelings and opinions are my own.
[…] there’s Highway Blue by Ailsa McFarlane. Not the cheeriest of books, but one that has stuck with me. McFarlane creates a dark and dreary […]