Hello Readers Today I have a review for

Where I Can’t Follow by Ashley Blooms

Where I Can’t Follow
By Ashley Blooms

Walk through the door and leave all your problems behind… but you don’t know what’s on the other side.

Walk through the door and leave all your problems behind…but you don’t know what’s on the other side. And once you leave, you’ll never come back. Will you go through?

Maren Walker told herself she wouldn’t need to sell pills for long, that it was only means to an end. But that end seems to be stretching as far away as the other side of Blackdamp County, Kentucky. There’s always another bill for Granny’s doctor, another problem with the car, another reason she’s getting nowhere.

She dreams of walking through her little door to leave it all behind. The doors have appeared to the people in her mountain town for as long as anyone can remember, though no one knows where they lead. All anyone knows is that if you go, you’ll never come back.

Maren’s mother left through her door when Maren was nine, and her shadow has followed Maren ever since. When she faces the possibility of escaping her struggles for good, Maren must choose just what kind of future she wants to build.

From critically acclaimed author Ashley Blooms, Where I Can’t Follow explores the forces that hold people in place, and how they adapt, survive, and struggle to love a place that doesn’t always love them back.


This book was received from the Author, and Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

This is a non spoiler review, because you as reader need to read this book. Also, I feel sometimes I have in the past gave away to much of the plot line. This has diminished the pleasure for would be readers.

Maren Walker, knows about the doors, heck everyone in Blackdamp County, Kentucky does. Maren lost her mother when she walked through her own door.

Left in the care of her Granny, growing up in the Appalachia mountains of Kentucky.

Life is hard for Maren, even now more so since her Granny’s physical and mental health has started to decline rapidly. Of course she still longs to finish school and leave the shadow of the mountains behind with her best friend, but she is the only one who actually is living with and caring for the one person she owes everything to.

Now she faced with do things she never thought she could just to stay afloat and keep her and her Granny safe. Everything comes with a price and when things start to take turn for Maren and Maren’s own little door appears.. will she step through it?

This book hit me so hard for so many reasons. Both my mother and father are from a coal mining town, in eastern Ky. They left like so many to raise their children away from the poverty and the hills. Both sets of my grandparents, and a lot of cousins stayed. The descriptive details of the food and living conditions, and desperation is captured vividly. Ashley Blooms holds no punches in this unflinching and raw book.

The authors strong writing, along with her use of an emotional metaphor is nothing short of creative brilliance.

I am sure this going to be my favorite contemporary styled, with magical nuisance for year 2022.

“No one knew where the doors lead. They may have taken everyone to the same place——some pocket of the world when the sky was green and the grass tasted like Peach Nehi.”

Where I Can’t Follow
by Ashley Blooms


Ashley Blooms is a graduate of the Clarion Writer’s Workshop and the Tin House Winter Workshop and received her MFA as a John and Renee Grisham Fellow from the University of Mississippi.

She was raised in Cutshin, Kentucky, and now lives in Berea, Kentucky.

Connect with Ashley via Instagam, or her website.

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