Highway Blue

Highway Blue


An Observer 10 BEST DEBUTS OF 2021
A hypnotic story of young love on the run

'I loved Highway Blue - a dark, glimmering, journey deep into modern America'
Rosie Price, author of What Red Was

'Highway Blue holds you captive like a blues song or incantation' Olivia Sudjic, author of Asylum Road

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.

(all reviews from NetGalley)

'This will be one of the best books of the year'
'Highly recommended'
'I was glued to it from the first page and couldn't put it down'
'Thoroughly engrossing and wonderfully written'
'Fabulous characters'
'An author to watch!'


  • 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

About the author

Ailsa McFarlane

Ailsa McFarlane was born in 1997 in Seattle, Washington, and grew up in Snowdonia in the United Kingdom. After leaving school, she studied veterinary science before dropping out to travel the United States and Europe by road. Highway Blue is her first novel.
Learn More

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more