A Review: Again and Again by Ellen Bravo

Summary (from the book jacket):
If sexual shenanigans disqualified candidates for Congress, the U.S. would have no goverment. But what if the candidate was a pro-choice Republican support 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 the 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.
Thoughts: Despite the disturbing content, I was interested in the concept of this book as I've actually never read a fiction title that explored sexual assault in the political realm. I found it informative, in the sense that there's much to research after reading, and enjoyed getting into something that was focused on women's issues in such a direct way. It definitely stirred emotions as the reader realizes its meant to emphasize how far society still has to go on this issue. Is it true that women face the same scrutiny and disbelief when reporting date rape now that they did in the 1970s?

This was very much a first novel for the author, but could still be a great learning tool for young men and women. I was impressed with Bravo's representation of Deborah and Liddie's relationship, but less so with Deborah and her daughter, and even less so with Deborah and her husband as they felt one dimensional and relied on the snotty teenager/inattentive husband stereotypes. The storyline had much to offer, but was somewhat dulled down by the technical language of Deborah's daily life and the tidbits clumsily added to modernize the story. I don't want to share too much as the summary has already provided enough, but I would recommend the novel based on the importance of the content and can definitely say I can't wait to see more from Bravo in  the future.

*Please note that those who have suffered from similar encounters may want to refrain from reading as the defining scene is graphic.

I received a copy of this novel from TLC Book Tours and She Writes Press in exchange for an honest review.

*Ellen Bravo is the head of Family Values @ Work, a network of state coalitions advocating family-friendly policies, and an award-winning writer. Her award-winning nonfiction books include Taking on the Big Boys, or Why Feminism Is Good for Families, Business and the Nation. A Cleveland native, she makes her home in Wisconsin.

Take a look at what other bloggers are saying on the tour here.


  1. It is sad that this is still such a problem in our world but it IS the reality and therefore books like this are so very necessary.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour!

    1. Heather, Thanks for having me! It really would be such a good book to be used in schools to really get the conversation going early. Like I said, I'm really interested to see future work from Bravo!


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