Away, Paperback
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


Amy Bloom's first novel for eight years revitalises the American road trip novel, from the perspective of a vulnerable but spirited woman.

It paints a vivid, earthy and surprising picture of 1920s America, its smells and textures, its population of drifters and con artists, pimps and prostitutes. "Away" is storytelling at its finest - epic in sweep, but intimate and psychologically acute, moving but unsentimental.

Like the novels of Sarah Waters, it is both richly authentic in its period detail, and fresh and contemporary in its style.

But above all Bloom has created an unforgettable character in Lillian Leyb - her voice, haunted, damaged yet innocent, passionate, witty and unpretentious, is so believable and strong that her presence lingers long after the novel ends.




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Took me a while to get into it and by the time I was loving it, it was almost over. But it has stuck with me. It's not a realistic novel. Almost a fantasy novel about a 20th-century odyssey. A haunting tale of love and loss and displacement. Other readers of my book group attacked it too literally, I felt, trying to figure out why the lead character behaved as she did and wanting to see how she was feeling more. For me, it wasn't that type of book. Just experience her journey and let her actions take you into her life.

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