There Will Never Be Another You
By Carolyn See
(Ballantine Books, Paperback, 9780345440471, 272pp.)
Publication Date: September 25, 2007
Other Editions of This Title: Compact Disc
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.
“Carolyn See has written a novel alive with wit and love and energy–a book about things falling apart that turns out to be a day at the beach. . . . Pure joy.”–Joan Didion
Accomplished author Carolyn See triumphantly returns to fiction–seven years after her last novel was published–with this provocative, vibrantly written new novel. Set in a security-obsessed world that eerily mirrors our own, There Will Never Be Another You captures the paranoia and propaganda of a volatile time and place in which humanity’s divisions run deep and society sits on edge–and one Southern California family faces profound crises from within and without.
It is a moment in the near future when the global threat of terror has cultivated rage, apathy, and panic across the country. People fear that “anybody could be armed, or have a bomb. Or a disease. Or all three.” For Phil, a dermatologist at the UCLA hospital, it is a time of unease and uncertainty, in stark contrast to the days when he coasted through life on his good looks, a modicum of charm, and only haphazard effort. Now Phil must deal with his mother, Edith, who’s been grieving over the death of her husband for several years and only recently has thought to reconnect with a family that seems to have other priorities. Phil’s energies are already divvied up among his belligerent children, his wayward wife, and his unreliable mistress.
Then Phil’s life takes a dramatic turn: He is recruited for a top-secret team whose task is to act quickly in the event of a biological or chemical attack. The assignment just may provide him with a renewed sense of purpose. Yet dire circumstances force Phil to make profound decisions that will affect not just himself and his loved ones but the entire country. It is a chance for an ordinary man to rise from mediocrity to heroism–and at which failure would prove to be catastrophic.
Foreboding and all too plausible, There Will Never Be Another You is a cautionary novel of family and society, where a naïve past is replaced by a menacing future in which distinguishing between reality and imagination proves to be more challenging than ever.
Carolyn See is the author of many novels, including The Handyman and Golden Days, as well as such acclaimed works of nonfiction as Making a Literary Life: Advice for Writers and Other Dreamers and Dreaming: Hard Luck and Good Times in America. She is also a book critic for The Washington Post and has been on the boards of the National Book Critics Circle and PEN/West International. She has won both Guggenheim and Getty fellowships and currently teaches English at UCLA. She lives in Pacific Palisades, California.