john keats

Midweek Poetry: Ode on a Grecian Urn featured in debut novel 'Follow Me' by daintydora

I wasn't familiar with 'Ode on a Grecian Urn' by John Keats before I read the debut novel 'Follow Me' by Victoria Gemmell. Follow Me by Victoria Gemmell

An extract of the poem appears three-quarters of the way through the book and fits the story perfectly; a story centred around the deadly allure of the 'Barn' which re-imagines Andy Warhol's Factory in the fictional Scottish town of Eddison.

These lines particularly haunted me:

Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
...Who are these coming to the sacrifice? To what green altar, O mysterious priest...

The story starts in the aftermath of Abby's apparent suicide - the fifth in the small town within a year - and which her twin sister Kat struggles to believe can be the truth behind her death.

As we step further into the 'deadly allure' of the Barn, into the underground art world constructed by both Michael and Rob, the dialogue pops from every page, rooting the story in action and drawing us deeper into the secrets of Eddison woods until the final twist.

I know I would have loved going to the Barn as a teenager, immersing into a more adult world, the heady creativity of the art scene: poetry, music, the smell of paint fresh on a canvas and of mysterious college boys playing in a band, a dark layer of mystery in their eyes.

Oh I wish I was a teenager again! OK, maybe not...but I definitely loved being drawn into this gripping Young Adult story.

I was even able to meet Ida, the designer behind the cover art for Follow Me at the book launch in Waterstones, and get a signed 'first edition' of the novel which feels very special.

Holding a book in your hands, a real book, and having it signed by the author is a tangible modern-day magic in today's digital world.

Follow Me Book Launch - Famous for Fifteen MinutesFollow Me Book Launch Night Napkin

The idea of being 'famous for fifteen minutes' (or even fifteen seconds) is very alluring for many of us, turning the spotlight on today's celebrity-obsessed society. Would you have been lured to the Barn, or stayed away?

Read a Q&A interview with Victoria and get an insight into her inspirations and writing process.

Buy Follow Me (#followmetothebarn...)

Follow Me Cupcakes

NB: I know Victoria personally and am delighted to promote her debut novel on this blog. This is not a sponsored post.