Highway Blue

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What to expect

Brought to you by Penguin.

Featured in the Observer 10 BEST DEBUTS OF 2021.

A hypnotic story of young love on the run.

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.

In front of me the long length of the road wound out, wound out and wound on under hot sky. And I drove…

‘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

© Ailsa McFarlane 2021 (P) Penguin Audio 2021

Critics Review

  • 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
  • Highway Blue is a beautiful, inspired rendering of the on-the-road journey. At its core is an unforgettable protagonist in Anne Marie. 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
  • Ailsa McFarlane’s prose combines the razor sharp truth telling of Ottessa Moshfegh with the troubled heart of Raymond Carver, using plain language to conjure a shockingly intense way of seeing. I’ve never read anything quite like it.

    Emma Copley Eisenberg, author of THE THIRD RAINBOW GIRL
  • I loved Highway Bluea 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

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