First Fiction Fridays: Meet You There by Jessica Wallace

November 20, 2015

In the space between meaning and action lives protagonist Robin Kent, in Jessica Wallace's debut novel Meet You There. While everyone else moves confidently according to an unseen-to-her Guidebook, Robin scrambles, instead uncovering a world of parties, promiscuity, and, above all, limitless choice to do and be whoever she wants.

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What: 

Meet You There (Now or Never Publishing, 2015)

Who:

Jessica Wallace received her Master’s in Creative Writing from the University of Sussex following undergraduate degrees in English Literature and Psychology, and her poetry and short fiction have appeared in several international magazines. She lives and works in Burnaby, BC. Meet You There is her first novel.

Why you need to read this now:

Have you ever felt caught between worlds, shifting from one life to another? Robin Kent does. She doesn’t understand how everyone around her, including her husband, seems so certain of everything—including who they are. The only explanation is that they’re all following the same Guidebook, a copy of which Robin has yet to receive. She’s sure it’s called something like The Lonely Planet’s Guide to Mediocre Living, and lays out a very easy-to-follow, very dull tourist path through life.

When Jaceb Ryan, her co-worker at the SkyTel call centre, reveals his secret, Robin is sure he’s offering a way out of more than just her depressing job. Reclaiming her voice from SkyTel marks the beginning of Robin’s rebellious move into a new, as yet unknown world of liquor-fueled nights, hungover mornings and sexual exploration.

But her escape plan doesn’t run as smoothly as she’d hoped, and instead of fleeing the city on the back of Jaceb’s motorcycle, Robin finds herself starting her new life alone. With a makeshift family of Nohl—Robin’s gay, Buddhist/Wiccan roommate—and Jaceb, Robin explores the ways people find meaning in their lives; how their behaviours often contradict who they want to be.

Marc Colbourne, co-author of Exiled for Love: The Journey of an Iranian Queer Activist, says Meet You There is “a sometimes gritty, often humorous look at the struggle to find peace in our relationships and comfort in ourselves. A brilliant cast of characters that I found myself wondering about long after I finished the book. An amazing debut by an incredible talent!”

Meet You There explores how difficult it can be to create a new life when guilt won’t let you move forward. It is an original and inspiring story of finding forgiveness, of making connections and of learning to write your own Guidebook.

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Big thanks to NON Publishing's Chris Needham for sharing Meet You There with us.

Love discovering new authors? Check out all our past First Fiction Friday picks  here.


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