And Again

A Novel

And Again

What would you do if you had a second chance at life?

Hannah, David, Connie, and Linda have been given the second chance of a lifetime—genetically perfect bodies as part of a medically advanced pilot program seeking FDA approval. Their new bodies are exact replicas of their old selves—without the deadly illnesses they suffered from. Even better, their imperfections have been erased. Blemishes, scars, and wrinkles have all disappeared, their bodies are pristine, their vision is impeccable.

Yet the fresh start they’ve been given is anything but perfect. Without their old bodies, their new physical identities have no memories. Hannah, an artistic prodigy, has to relearn how to hold a brush; David, a Congressman, grapples with his old habits; Connie, an actress whose stunning looks are restored after a protracted illness, tries to navigate an industry obsessed with physical beauty; and Linda, who spent eight years paralyzed after a car accident, now struggles to reconnect with a family that seems to have built a new life without her.

As each tries to re-enter their previous lives and relationships, they are faced with the question: how much of who you are rests not just in your mind, but in your heart and your body? In the spirit of Never Let Me Go and The Age of Miracles, And Again is an exciting debut about identity, second chances, and the courage to start life afresh.
  • Touchstone | 
  • 336 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781501116117 | 
  • August 2016
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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for And Again includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Jessica Chiarella. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.



Four terminally ill patients receive the chance to enroll in the SUBlife program, a scientific advancement that gifts them with brand new bodies free from their old illnesses and the ravages of time. They’re exact replicas of their former selves . . . or so it seems.

The four patients are Hannah, an artist who cannot seem to recapture her prior inspiration; David, a politician whose meddling with FDA approval for the SUBlife program is a secret he’s hoping to keep; Linda, who spent eight years in a “conscious coma” and is trying to reconnect with the family from whom she became estranged; and Connie, a soap-opera actress trying to revamp her career. And Again raises the question: is getting a second chance at life as miraculous as it seems?

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. When David wakes up with his new body, he vows to be a different man who won’t drink, won’t smoke, won’t indulge in see more

About the Author

Jessica Chiarella
Photograph © Shane Collins

Jessica Chiarella

Jessica Chiarella grew up in the Chicago area and has a master’s degree in writing and publishing from DePaul University. She is currently a student in the University of California, Riverside’s creative writing MFA in program.