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Critical Praise

"With humor and sharp insight, grace and unflinching honesty, Watrous shows us not only what it’s like to be a young American living in rural Japan, but also what it means to explore the terra incognita of love. Watrous is a wonderful writer, and this is a deeply moving and indelible book."

—Julie Orringer, author of How to Breathe Underwater

"Watrous ably writes a novel ripe with heartache, romance, comedy and drama. It’s smart and unique, showcasing the idiosyncrasies of Japan as it perfectly --- and often hilariously --- tells a story of a young woman coping with her father’s suicide."

Romantic Times

"If You Follow Me is the kind of book you finish and then clutch to your heart as you run around telling everyone you know that they have to read it. I feel so close to these characters ---and that’s because Malena Watrous has made them so vivid and alive on the page. These people know more than their share of sadness, and still they’re such a delight to spend time with --- like friends you’ll stick by no matter what, whose frailties and awkwardness are not detractors but ‘charm points.’ Watrous has written a book of great genuine warmth, startling honesty, and remarkable power. I cherish it."

—Thisbe Nissen, author of Osprey Island

"I love, love, love If You Follow Me. It’s fearlessly honest, occasionally heartbreaking, and extremely funny, and I can’t recommend it highly enough."

—Curtis Sittenfeld, New York Times bestselling author of Prep and American Wife

"Graceful, smart, and filled with wonder, If You Follow Me is a heartfelt delight from beginning to end."

—Michelle Richmond, bestselling author of The Year of Fog

"How is it that If You Follow Me manages to be at once so funny and so moving? In this beautiful novel, what is most ‘foreign’ to Marina turns out to be her complex relationships with those she thought she knew best. Malena Watrous’s writing is sharp-edged and generous, tragic and true. I would follow her anywhere."

—Katharine Noel, author of Halfway House