Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Julie's Review: Again and Again

Author: Ellen Bravo
Series: None
Publication Date: August 11, 2015
Publisher: She Writes Press
Pages: 256
Obtained: TLC Book Tours
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Bottom Line: Thoughtful look at the affects date rape has on women
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab!

Summary: If sexual shenanigans disqualified candidates for Congress, the U.S. would have no government. But what if the candidate was a pro-choice Republican supported by feminist groups--and a college rapist whose secret could be exposed by a leading women's rights advocate? Again and Again tells the story of Deborah Borenstein--as an established women's rights leader in 2010 Washington, DC, and as a college student, thirty years earlier, whose roommate is raped by a fellow student. The perpetrator is now a Senate candidate who has the backing of major feminist groups . . . which puts Deborah in a difficult position. Torn between her past and present, as the race goes on, Deborah finds herself tested as a wife, a mother, a feminist, and a friend.

Review: Again and Again is the story of how the definition of date rape came to be and the short-term and long-term affects of rape. It is a personal story about Liddie and Deborah. How Deborah went on to fight for the rights of women who have been raped and how Liddy curled inside herself to try to move on from the trauma. It is about fighting for something in the 1970s that wasn't yet defined and trying to fight the college machine that isn't yet equipt to deal with these situations.

 What I really liked about the novel was it made Liddie's case personal. It wasn't sterile like a case study. You cared about Liddie and Deborah. You wanted Liddie to press charges against Will even if it meant no resolution for him, at least there would be a record of the instance. Of course, Liddie and Deborah didn't foresee the future when Will would be running for Congress. Liddie has led a quiet life in Wisconsin since leaving college but it might be time for her to speak up and out about her experience. Deborah is the one stuck in the middle of it. She runs a successful women's rights organization who should be backing this candidate but because of personal experience can not. Another wrench in it, is that her husband Aaron has been put on the campaign for the opponent. So, if she doesn't back Will it immediately looks like she's siding with the other candidate for personal reasons. She is in quite the pickle.

She is still feriouciously protective of Liddie and her experience and yet she wants to do all that she can to ensure that Will doesn't get into Congress. Deborah and Aaron also have a teenage daughter that is old enough to know and understand Liddie's situation but Deborah still wants to protect her. Yet, it's been her life's work to empower women and giving her daughter the background on her passion can only be a good thing. It would also help her understand Liddie and the choices she made that were the best for her. Just because Liddie didn't fight in the way some of us think she should have or how we would have doesn't mean she's not a fighter. She's a survivor and a fighter. It's just taken her longer to find the fight within herself.

 Date Rape is a subject that is still taboo to talk about and in some ways hard to pursue a claim against. It's so ingrained in our society that if a girl is flirting, drinking or heck dancing with a man, she must want to sleep with him. No means No. It is something that we have to reinforce with our daughters and make sure our sons understand.

Again and Again is a thoughtful, well written novel about the effects of date rape, how far we've come and how far we still need to go. I encourage anyone to read this. We all can be educated about this subject matter a bit more.



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