Monday, August 24, 2015

TLC BLOG TOUR: Again and Again by Ellen Bravo

Title: Again and Again
Author: Ellen Bravo
Genre: Adult Fiction-Controversial
Publisher: She Writes Press
Release Date: August 11/2015
Acquired: E-book provided by publisher
Goodreads: ADD

Deborah Borenstein has come a long way since 1978, when she left Cleveland for college in upstate New York to seek sophistication and “a world that matters.” Thirty-two years later in Washington, D.C., Deborah is making a difference for women who’ve been traumatized and stigmatized by rape as the director of an influential activist group, Breaking the Silence. She’s still happily married to her post-college sweetheart, a political consultant, and delighted to be a mom to her spirited teenage daughter. Suddenly, her world is shaken—by searing memories of what happened three decades earlier at her alma mater, Danforth University. A tenacious reporter storms in on Deborah, seeking confirmation of an anonymous source exposing William Quincy, former college dreamboat and current contender for Senator, as a college rapist.

Could Quincy, a pro-choice Republican supported by women, feminists included, be guilty of that brutal crime? Deborah knows, because she caught him in the act of committing it. Still, she owes a debt to Quincy’s victim: her college roommate, Elizabeth Golmbach. A small town Midwestern nice girl, with wit and smarts, Liddie paid dearly for “letting herself” get raped and then—at Deborah’s urging—daring to press charges against her well-connected, well-off rapist. Deborah is wary of reopening old wounds—Liddie’s and her own.

Will Deborah move beyond a past of pain and guilt? Can she reconcile her commitment to speaking out against rape with saying nothing to stop a rapist from winning the Senate? What loyalty does she owe her husband, who is trying to resurrect his flagging career by getting a win for Quincy’s opponent? The answers will test her as a mother and a feminist and a friend. Taking on hot-button issues from sexual violence on campus to the male domination of politics, Again and Again is a gripping novel about a topics that are all too pervasive in the real world. I hope you will give it serious consideration for review or feature coverage.


An enormously important message, jumbled into a sub par storyline. I can appreciate the standalone force that
Again and Again was in regards to raising awareness about a subject that still, in many cases, spends most of it's time in shades of grey. Date rape, (as per Wikipedia definition) "[...] specifically refers to a rape in which there has been some sort of romantic or potentially sexual relationship between the two parties," and was the catalyst for a narrative that tried to wrap a grenade in cashmere. To be completely non-metaphorical, I could have done without the outside dramatics.

It's 1978, and Deborah Borenstein has come home to what seemingly looks like a drunken teenage romp. What she mistakes for lust, is the exact moment in which her best friend, Liddie Golmbach, is irrevocably changed. Liddie is the victim of a crime so perpetually ignored, and so disgustingly dismissed. I felt my blood boil the second the scene was over, felt my heart hammering in my chest for the countless real-life victims that are denied the importance of their voice. I immediately wanted the perspective to change to Liddie's, or even alternate between the two. I championed the hundreds of attempts on Deborah's part to bring justice where it was due, and could even imagine feeling the pain she must have endured to witness a close friend's decent into depression, but I couldn't hold on to those feelings for long. Somewhere along the halfway point of Again and Again, amidst heavy political jargon that went WAY over my head, and family drama that had me wanting to take someone by shoulder and shake some good sense into them, I lost my vote for Deborah. Ellen Bravo made a great attempt to make the smaller details into one cohesive whole, but I found that so many things became unnecessary filler.

On more than one occasion my eyes glazed over conference call dialogues, and campaign initiatives. I understand the author's background, and I can appreciate bringing your knowledge base into your writing, but I also believe that an individual's choice to pick up a piece of fiction should be rewarded with more emotion than solid, real-life, fact dropping. It was during these moments that Ellen Bravo lost me as a reader, but she swooped me back up with the moments of raw emotion she occasionally doled out.

Again and Again is not a book that should be picked up based on personal reviews. Again and Again is a book that should be read by every young female, and male, as a beacon, as a megaphone, for the truths behind a very real issue that is faced by THOUSANDS every day, every hour, possibly even every minute. I don't know the exact stats on sexual harassment, but I don't need to, this book is not to be ignored, no matter your knowledge on the subject matter.

Recommended for Fans of: Jodi Picoult, Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, Just Listen by Sarah Dessen, Etched on Me by Jenn Crowell, Someone Else's Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson, The Round House by Louise Erdrich, Controversial topics.


Ellen Bravo was born in Cleveland but has lived in Wisconsin long enough to be a diehard Green Bay Packers fan and say “c’mere once” and “you bet.” A lifelong activist, she is the former director of 9to5 (the group that inspired the movie,) and current head of Family Values @ Work, a network of state coalitions working for family-friendly policies. Ellen is the award-winning writer of three non-fiction books, the most recent being Taking on the Big Boys, or Why Feminism is Good for Families, Business and the Nation. Among her commendations is a Ford Foundation Visionary award. A business editor once described her as “moving, witty and sometimes bawdy.”
Ellen lives in Milwaukee with her husband; they have two adult sons. When she’s not raising hell or writing fiction, Ellen loves Zumba, bid whist, brain teasers, board games, canoeing on the Wisconsin River, reading, and above all spending time with family and friends. 

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Thank-you to Trish from TLC Book Tours for hosting this tour, and to She Writes Press for sending me an ebook copy to review! CLICK HERE to follow the rest of the tour

1 comment:

  1. Date rape is such an important subject that seems to still be only whispered about. I'm glad this book does the subject justice.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts as part of the tour.


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