ThenAgainCoverFriedman

Synopsis

When Michelle Schafer receives an invitation to “A Blast from the Past” party to be held in the suburban home in which she and her siblings were raised, she wonders if her brother Joel, an obscenely wealthy Hollywood screenwriter, has finally crossed the line from amusingly eccentric to disturbingly weird. She and her sister Marla arrive at the peculiar reunion to discover that the family home has been meticulously restored to look as it did in the 1970s, and that Joel has hired actors to play their parents who died almost twenty-five years ago. Then Again unlocks the door to the blackly comic history of the Schafer family, weaving together past and present to reveal the shocking purpose behind the mysterious gathering.

 

REVIEW QUOTES

“Laugh-out-loud funny, even as it exposes family demons and denials.” The Globe and Mail

“The best thing I’ve read in ages. It is written with a precision both witty and wise and it could move mollusks to tears. Elyse Friedman is a rare and wonderful novelist.” Paul Quarrington

“A fierce and funny tale….part Kafka, part South Park. Friedman writes in a manic, punchy style that veers wildly between sentimentality and stinging wit. She speaks to the eternal adolescent in us all.” The Toronto Star

“Friedman has written a fascinating novel, which in turn alarms, delights and leaves the reader breathless for more. It is often laugh-out-loud funny and marvelously witty, but also fierce and edgy…..Surprising and bold, Friedman weaves passages expertly, coaxing us to ride along as we careen towards an explosive end. Keep an eye out for more from this refreshing new Canadian voice.” The Charlotte Austin Review

“Friedman has a keen eye for the ridiculous but there is wisdom here, too. She understands the temptations and the hazards of allowing yourself to get trapped in the past.” The Gazette (Montreal)

“Toronto debut novelist Elyse Friedman hooks the reader immediately and keeps the suspense high….Friedman is a witty and edgy writer who has a knack for painting engaging character descriptions.” Times-Colonist (Victoria)

“Friedman has a wonderful ability for describing pleasure both small and vast. A sly humour that simply won’t yield.” Ben Hamper, author of The New York Times bestseller Rivethead

“[Friedman] constructs an intricate and compelling narrative, deftly moving back and forth in time as she fashions characters who go to extraordinary lengths in their efforts to escape or recapture the past….the meticulous timing with which Friedman offers and withholds information generates a palpable suspense.” Canadian Literature

“Breezy, sardonic and confident, Then Again brings to mind earlier examples of troubled adolescenceñfilled with jolts of recognition that the adult world is awry. There’s more than a little Holden Caulfield lurking in Michelle Schafer, with a touch of Sylvia Plath’s Esther Greenwood thrown in.” The Ottawa Xpress

“Newcomer Elyse Friedman scores with Then Again, the story of three siblings who revisit their dysfunctional childhood at a bizarre ‘blast from the past’ party. This is a darkly comic novel dripping with a delicious horror-movie sense of foreboding.” En Route

“Keen observations, sharp delivery and a poetic pairing of the incongruous make this a wild read.” The Edmonton Journal

“Friedman acquits herself as a fluid, entertaining stylist with a gift for zippy and believable dialogue….Friedman’s writing here is fast and fun, but when she slows the wisecracking and delves into the sources of her characters grief, she is capable of resonant writing.” Quill & Quire

 

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