Today, it’s a review of a book I read as part of a read-a-long with Tandem Collective so my copy was gifted! It’s the debut novel from Robert Webb, Come Again.
I’ve wanted to read this novel for a long while as the premise, cover, blurb, author really stood out to me so I was super excited to read as part of a read-a-long. But first… what’s it about? Here’s the blurb:
Kate’s husband Luke – the man she loved from the moment she met him twenty-eight years ago – died suddenly. Since then she has pushed away her friends, lost her job and everything is starting to fall apart.
One day, she wakes up in the wrong room and in the wrong body. She is eighteen again but remembers everything. This is her college room in 1992. This is the first day of Freshers’ Week. And this is the day she first meets Luke.
But Luke is not the man that she lost: he’s still a boy – the annoying nineteen-year-old English student she first met. Kate knows how he died and that he’s already ill. If they can fall in love again she might just be able to save him. She’s going to try to do everything exactly the same . . .
I think the premise of this is brilliant and it really intrigued me and I was interested to see how he would write about grief and loss in his voice – which is comedic, witty and dry. To be honest, I wasn’t wowed by this book. But firstly, I still think the premise is a good idea and plot, I found the dialogue charming and witty, I liked the themes explored and I think it’s a great cover, too.
But… as a novel, it felt like too many ideas in one novel as they all just felt like they were tangled – and not in a good way. I wanted to see more about the grief from Kate as it really hooked me from the start but then it just seems to disappear soon after? I enjoyed the humour and wit in the novel but then as the novel went on, it just felt a bit too much for me. It felt too silly, too forced and I didn’t really care about the characters or the story.
“Well, the first time it was charming because she was in love. And being in love is when you truly live in the present: when every moment is a discovery, every tiny detail is pregnant with meaning. Grief though… grief is the opposite of meaning; grief is where the present can’t breathe; where the past is everywhere you look; where every moment is dead on arrival. Grief is Groundhog Day.”
I really love that quote – I just wish there was more throughout the novel. I don’t usually say this, I can’t remember the last time I did say it, but I think this would work better as a movie/TV series than a book. I think I would have enjoyed it more as that too as at times it felt as if I was reading a script instead of a novel. I might try the audiobook when it’s released in August – read by Olivia Colman! Hopefully I’d have a better experience listening to that as she brings Kate and the story to life.
This isn’t an awful book – it’s full of heart, full of ideas, charm and wit, but a bit too muddled for me. But that being said, I read most of it in one afternoon so if you’re looking for a fun, easy read – this one is perhaps for you.
A big thank you to Tandem Collective and Cannongate for my copy and the spot on the read-a-long.
Have you read Come Again yet? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!