A Recommended Read from:
The New York Times Book Review * Good Morning America * The Millions
From Edgar Award nominee Debra Jo Immergut, a taut, twisting work of suspense about a woman haunted by her younger self
Abigail Willard first spots her from the back of a New York cab: the spitting image of Abby herself at age twenty-two—right down to the silver platforms and raspberry coat she wore as a young artist with a taste for wildness. But the real Abby is now forty-six and married, with a corporate job and two kids. As the girl vanishes into a rainy night, Abby is left shaken. Was this merely a hallucinatory side effect of working-mom stress? A message of sorts, sent to remind her of passions and dreams tossed aside? Or something more explosive and life-altering?
As weeks go by, Abby continues to spot her double around her old New York haunts—and soon, despite her better instincts, Abby finds herself tailing her look-alike. She is dogged by a nagging suspicion that there is a deeper mystery to figure out, one rooted far in her past. All the while, Abby’s life starts to slip from her control: her marriage hits major turbulence, her teenage son drifts into a radical movement that portends a dark coming era. When her elusive double presents her with a dangerous proposition, Abby must decide how much she values the life she’s built, and how deeply she knows herself.
You Again is an audaciously constructed novel, an unboxing of memory, desire, and regret—and an electrifying portrait of a woman hurtling toward a key crossroads in her life, where a secret lies buried like an undetonated bomb.
Immergut (The Captives) flirts with supernatural elements in a beguiling, uneven tale of a woman's encounter with her younger self. Abigail Willard, 46, sees herself at 22 one night on her way home from work in Brooklyn, under an awning where there used to be a nightclub\n. The sighting triggers a flood of memories of her 20s young, beautiful, reckless, an aspiring artist, and just on the cusp of meeting a lover whose abandonment would set her on a new, unsatisfying path. Abigail, now an art director at a pharmaceutical company, begins lingering in Greenwich Village, where she used to live, and introducers herself to this younger version, who goes by A. Abigail tries to warn A of the heartache and turmoil to come, while her own life is collapsing. Abigail's husband, Dennis, loses his job, and her son, Pete, falls in with an antifascist group and vandalizes a house in Brooklyn. The detective in charge of Pete's case, meanwhile, begins flirting with Abigail, a development she hides from Dennis. As Abigail and A's paths continue to overlap, Abigail comes closer to remembering long-buried traumatic memories of her 20s. Immergut's busy jumble of plotlines doesn't quite cohere or resolve the nature of the sightings, and the overwrought prose doesn't help ("the rain taps my scalp with tiny wet fingers"), but there is plenty of suspense and intrigue. Still, she doesn't stick the landing.