Come Again by Robert Webb

Come Again is a surprising, genre-defying novel about a woman who has recently lost her husband. Since Kate’s husband Luke died, things have started to fall apart, and she can’t help but focus on the fact that he’d technically been ill ever since she met him during Freshers’ Week years ago and fell in love. After dramatically losing her job in shady circumstances, Kate suddenly wakes up in the wrong place: her eighteen-year-old self’s body, just starting university. She has the chance to try and change things, but is that even possible, and what might it mean for the future?

From the blurb, the book sounded like One Day or something similar, a story about love happening regardless of circumstance or across time. However, it turned out to be quite different: a kind of tragicomic love story with a side of dodgy dealings and spies. If it is about anything, it is possibly about grief and about being unpredictable (both characters defying expectations others have of them in the narrative, and the actual narrative itself). It took a while to settle into the novel, with a few details or comments from characters that felt a bit off, but it became more immersive and raised questions about where the plot was going to go next. The tone changes somewhat between the different sections, but it suited the novel which has a kind of funny yet sad quirkiness (also a description that could work for Kate as a character).

Come Again is a light read that blends different genre conventions to be a funny book about grief, moving on, and, strangely, when your life becomes a little bit more like the plot of multiple different bits of fiction. It is easy to imagine it as a quirky film that leans heavily on the different sections having different styles and tones (and the fast pace of the novel would probably suit being adapted into a film).