An Observer 10 BEST DEBUTS OF 2021
A hypnotic story of young love on the run
‘I loved Highway Blue – a dark, glimmering, journey deep into modern America’ Rosie Price, author of What Red Was
‘Highway Blue holds you captive like a blues song or incantation’ Olivia Sudjic, author of Asylum Road
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.
EARLY READERS LOVE HIGHWAY BLUE
(all reviews from NetGalley)
‘This will be one of the best books of the year’
‘I was glued to it from the first page and couldn’t put it down’
‘Thoroughly engrossing and wonderfully written’
‘An author to watch!’
I'm in awe of the way McFarlane uses just a few words to carve out these deeply complex characters we meet in Highway Blue. Poignant, moving, and cinematic, this is a story imbued with love and loss that feels at once distantly dreamlike and vividly recognisable. * An Yu, author of BRAISED PORK * I loved Highway Blue - a dark, glimmering, journey deep into modern America on a knife edge between love and dependence. * Rosie Price, author of WHAT RED WAS * Hypnotic, stylish, cinematic . . . Highway Blue holds you captive like a blues song or incantation. * Olivia Sudjic, author of ASYLUM ROAD * Highway Blue is a beautiful, inspired rendering of the on-the-road journey. At its core is an unforgettable protagonist in Anne Marie, and with delicate strokes her world moves in and out of its scenic, and at times tense scape. This seamless work is unobtrusive but deeply effecting; an exquisite portrayal of introspection. McFarlane has written an irresistible story of love and life's meanderings. A very gifted writer, I was entranced. * Elaine Feeney, author of AS YOU WERE * In Highway Blue, the richness and pathos of the ordinary is heightened by the private mysteries of McFarlane's innocent fugitives as they run from both the law and themselves. It is a harrowing journey, but one filled with unexpected kindnesses and the illuminating effect of transformation. I so admire it. * Susanna Moore, author of IN THE CUT *
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