‘Sick is sick is sick. It’s got to go somewhere.’
Ada, a girl who hasn’t gone quite to plan, and Father live a quiet life together, in a clearing in the woods outside of town. They spend their years tending to local Cures – the human folk who come to them, cautiously, with various ailments, and for whom they care little.
Ada embarks on a disquieting relationship with a local Cure named Samson, much to the displeasure of her father and Samson’s widowed, pregnant sister. When Ada is forced to choose between her old and new lives, what she does will change the town – and The Ground itself – forever.
Follow Me To Ground is an unnerving, beautifully controlled tour-de-force, a sinister tale that questions our preconceptions of predator and prey and the consequences of unchecked desire.
Recipient of the Kate O’Brien Award (2019) and long-listed for The Desmond Elliott Award and Republic of Consciousness Award, Follow Me To Ground is currently available from New Island Books (IE) and Doubleday Books (UK) and is forthcoming with Scribner (US).
‘It can be read on many levels – as a fable about female yearning, or about containment and contagion; as an investigation into toxic relationships or a puzzle over the borders between human and non-human – but it is always singularly and entirely itself.’ - The Guardian
‘The body is central to her novel—its horror, its abjections, the way it supports and fails us, the way we give it up to others, the way we claw it back.’ - The Irish Times
‘Sue Rainsford’s talent is fierce, palpable and hypnotic. . . a dazzlingly troubling dream.’ – Colin Barrett
‘Strange, but wonderful. Lyrical, and utterly compelling.’ – Irish Examiner
‘Stark, poetic, shocking and quite beautiful, this short novel has an echo of Steinbeck about it, if Steinbeck had written dark, mysterious fairy tales.’ – Sunday Independent
‘Rainsford writes beautifully with a lyrical, earthy prose which is evocative and eviscerating yet mesmerising. She gives Ada a unique voice which fills and haunts the narrative. One of the strangest books I’ve read in a long time, it is utterly compelling and will linger, uninvited, in your consciousness long after you’ve turned the last page.’ – Irish Independent
‘Sue Rainsford’s debut novel is short and extremely unsettling: think Shirley Jackson meets the Brothers Grimm…it evokes a kind of crawling physical unease that straddles the divide between fairy tale and horror.’ – Bookmunch
‘Reminiscent of the work of Alexandra Kleeman, Carmen Maria Machado, and Han Kang, it’s a sinister, sensual, haunted book’. – Lithub
‘Bound in imagination and riveting from start to finish, Rainsford dips into the magical as easily as she works with the ‘weird’…A deliciously odd debut that never wavers in its strangeness and is all the better for it…‘Follow Me to Ground’ is a clever piece of fiction – and a worthy read for anyone who enjoys the disturbed.’ – Storgy
In this dark, moody, sometimes tense, could-not-put-it-down novel tackles—with clever subtlety—our perception of the body and its limitations, sickness, sexuality, and patriarchal norms…Follow Me doesn’t really fit into any strict genre. The eerie, misty landscape; the narrative; and, of course, the ground aren’t easily forgotten.’ – Goop
‘Her writing is poetic and sumptuous; her world is an easy one to step into…Sue Rainsford has quite prodigious talent. From the relatively gentle start to the malevolent end, this début will keep a discerning reader in a happy, hypnotic state.’ – Books Ireland