Excerpts & Review: The Somewhere I See You Again by Nancy Thorne

#TheSomewhereISeeYouAgain is an extraordinary story about the life-changing power of love and friendship against insurmountable odds by @nthornewrites

This is a coming of age story revolving around Hannah. Her mother is ill, her father is overworked and underpaid, and she feels as if she is caught in the realm between the haves and the have nots. When her best friend garners the attention of a wealthy young man from the right side of town, Hannah thinks she has found a way out of poverty for both of them.

I just never warmed up to Hannah. From the beginning she seemed selfish and narcissistic, just plain unsympathetic. She was blind to the distress she caused her best friend, who was also having a tough time of it, and her “I’m poor so I’m entitled to do morally corrupt things”, like lying, being manipulative, or shoplifting, wore heavily on the story pretty quickly. She is basically a young girl whose world is falling apart, I just wish I could have felt more for her.

While I am not certain that there was a lot of character growth for Hannah as the story moved on, the story itself was well written with a slew of interesting side characters and story arcs. My whole life I have read stories set in the late sixties and early seventies surging counter culture, driven by the Vietnam conflict. It was extremely interesting to see it from a Canadian perspective. I also very much enjoyed the setting of western Canada. The author did a great job of inserting the reader into that beautiful backdrop.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

I received an advance review copy for free through Silver Dagger Book Tours, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

Can you, for those of us who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?

I don’t feel that I became an author, I felt in grade school that I already was an author. It’s funny, right? I have no idea where the notion that I was meant to be a writer came from. But I knew how much I loved words and the emotions they evoked. As a child I would sit at my vanity and read aloud the events of my neighbourhood into the mirror as if I were a news anchorwoman in front of a camera. Sometimes, I daydreamed about becoming a defence lawyer so I could use words to save the innocent.

Still, I kept my dreams hidden. It felt to me as though someone would eventually pick up on my author premonition, but of course no one ever did. I was a shy child and didn’t go around proclaiming my writer ambition. I have a vivid memory of writing a story in grade school. I waited for her to shed a tear as she read my words. But she simply crossed out my grammar mistakes with a bright red pencil and handed me back the sheet of paper. It seemed to me then that I couldn’t possibly be a writer if a teacher couldn’t see any talent in my story.

It took many years for me to begin my author journey. But I had the constant itch of belief that I should be a writer, and it wouldn’t stop no matter how much I tried to scratch it away.

What inspired you to write this book?

Much of this book is true, although I have never blackmailed anyone, a crucial plot in the story. As a teenager, I spent two summers hitchhiking across Canada after telling my mother that I was taking the train to Vancouver. Memories from those two summers remained in my brain as if they were seared with everlasting ink. It was a magical time in my life, filled with new experiences and a greater understanding of life and the people within the climate of those times.

If you knew you’d die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?

Easy question to answer. I would happily and contentedly spend my last day with my immediate family and our pets. 

What is your favorite part of this book and why?

My favorite part of the book is when Hannah’s eyes open to the realities and injustices of the world beyond her own life experiences.

If you could spend time with a character from your book who would it be? And what would you do during the day?

It wouldn’t be one character from my book – it would be all of them. I would love to time-hop back to Jasper, Alberta. The Athabasca River would still be pristine. The mountains would still be topped with snow. And all the hitchhhikers who stayed in tents in the shallow valley that bordered the river would be exactly the same.

Plus, I’d love to find out if a particular hitchhiker ever found her dog. She spent a lot of time one evening screaming for her lost dog who had run into the woods. Sometimes she’d swear, “Arlo! Where the fuck are ya, Arlo?” So, I gave the name Arlo to one of my main characters. I choose to believe that she found her dog before she went back on the road.

The Somewhere I See You Again
by Nancy Thorne
Genre: YA Historical Romance

Hannah will resort to anything to save her mother’s life. Including blackmail. Even if the target is the former boyfriend of her goody-goody best friend, Stacy.

Except, he just moved to the West Coast, and now it’s up to Hannah to convince Stacy to hitchhike with her cross-country to confront him.

It’s 1971. Change is happening. And Hannah’s understanding of the world is about to be tested by those she encounters along the way, including a gorgeous draft dodger.

Someone is about to face a deathly experience. But it’s not Hannah’s mother.

The Somewhere I See You Again is an extraordinary story about the life-changing power of love and friendship against insurmountable odds.

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The Somewhere I See You Again
By Nancy Thorne Excerpt (340 words)

Expensive jeans and the newest styles of desert boots and sneakers shuffle in front of us. My eyes follow denim up to a zipper then to a pocket stuffed with a hand. A blue T-shirt with a Rolling Stones logo covers what appears to be a flabby abdomen. I gaze up at a face that distorts from my angle. The guy peers down. He’s not attractive, but not ugly either.

“You have the coolest hair,” he says to Stacy.

I’ve never considered Stacy’s hair cool to be honest. Guess I’m just used to it. But looking at it now I can see what he means. Far past her shoulders, it’s parted in the middle and each side gleams copper in the setting sun.

Stacy leans back and lifts her chin. “Um thanks. We live on the other side of the park.”

“You two from Slum Hill?” the short guy blurts.

“It’s Sloan Hill, “ I snarl. 

“Don’t mind him, he’s a dickhead,” says a scrawny guy, swiping at a thick head of hair too big for his body.

“You know someone around here?” the not attractive but not ugly asks.

“Nope.” I wonder the same about him. But he gazes at Stacy like he wants her to answer. Like I’m invisible.

“Your school the one being torn down?” he tries again.

Stacy does a hair flip. “Yep. We’ll be going to Carver this year.”

“Oh yeah? That’s our school.”

“What’s it like?” Stacy asks in her polite, doltish way. “Are the teachers strict?”

“Depends on who you get. Some are cool. Some are assholes. It’s sure gonna be crowded this year.”

The group continues down the road in their boy-pack parade.

Except for him.

“I could grab the keys and give you a ride home if you want.” He brushes aside straight bangs. “It’s a long walk to Slum−I mean, Sloan Hill.”

“You live near here?” I ask.

He lets out a laugh. “Yeah, real near.”

He points to my dream house, and the robin’s egg blue convertible parked in the carport.

The Somewhere I See You Again
By Nancy Thorne Excerpt (170 words)

Stacy is at the kitchen table filling out a job application for a waitress job at a swanky hotel in Banff, Alberta, she says Mr. Callaghan told her about, even though we already applied for a job at the Burger Barn. Her mother stops stirring and wipes her hands on her gingham apron as she turns to me.

“Won’t be long now, Hannah,” she says, meaning the cookies in the oven and not the demise of my mother. “I know you love my jam thumbprints.”

I haven’t eaten yet today. The thought of raspberry-filled cookies gets my interest and my stomach growls. “Can’t wait.” Repeatedly, I nod to the hall that leads to Stacy’s room until she gets my drift.

“We’re going to my room for a minute, Mom,” Stacy says.

“You can take some home with you, Hannah.”

I close Stacy’s door behind me and hand her the photos. “Forget about the crappy waitress jobs, Stace. Here’s all we need to get a shitload of money for our families.”

The  Somewhere I See You Again
By Nancy Thorne Excerpt (300 words)

For some reason it’s difficult to focus on anything except this guy even though conversations whirl around the table. I turn to Stacy. Still chowing down. The stew has little flavour. Already I miss Dad’s cooking.

“Your shirt’s unique,” I say, mostly meaning that it sticks out like a sore thumb.

“Don’t know why I brought it with me, except that my mom made me.” He smiles lightly. “She still treats me like a kid sometimes.”

Wish I could say the same.

“The rest of my clothes are nasty from the road. I’m planning to locate a coin laundry real soon.”

“Your mom must miss you,” I say.

“Of course his mom misses him, Hannah,” Stacy mocks. She nudges me with her shoulder. I wave her away.

Arlo stares at nothing, unless it’s the strange artwork of Campbell soup cans hung on the wall across from us. “Yeah, we’re close.”

I’ve been salting my stew this whole time. I take a bite and swallow hard, only because my other choice is to spit it back into the bowl. Almost choking in the process, a guttural sound escapes.

“As I said, needs chocolate,” Arlo says.

I smile and nod before he averts his eyes.

Stacy continues the conversation while I take a large swig of milk. “So, got anyone else special waiting for you back home? Besides your mom?”


Figures. Just don’t tell me how beautiful and perfect she is. 

“My sister. She’s the best.”

Stacy sighs. Then she says she has to go write her letter.

Guitar music resonates from the living room. Everyone leaves the table except for Arlo and me. Arlo stands and presents his hand as if we’ve been sucked back in time. “Ready to get at it?”

More than ready. 

I set my palms into his.

And I’m on fire.

The Somewhere I See You Again
by Nancy Thorne Excerpt (240 words)

The low tone of Arlo’s voice seeps through my skin and arouses something deep inside me. I hang on his words. Then, except for a heavy sigh, Arlo is the silent one, his thoughts miles away, probably in West Virginia.

“I know a lot about trees,” I say.

He returns. “Oh yeah?”

“A-huh. My dad taught me.”

Arlo looks confused. “I thought you were a city girl.”

“Oh, well, yeah. I don’t live around mountains or rivers. I mean, there’s trees in a park near my house, and a creek with tadpoles−“

Arlo laughs. “As I sad. City girl.”

The wrong side of the tracks would be more like it but that’d make you laugh even more.

“So, your father knows a lot about trees even though you don’t live in the country?”

“It’s his … hobby.” I have to catch my breath. We’re close to talking about my home. About Sloan Hill.

“And your mom? Does she have a hobby?”

My heart is aching. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m acting stupid on front of Arlo or because my mother is at the forefront of my brain, her body weak and half its normal size.”

Breathe, Hannah. “She used to sew.”

“Used to?”

“Yeah. She’s−“ I bite my lower lip. A single tear escapes. This is not time to ruin one of the happiest moments of my life. Luke ruined enough of it already.

Nancy Thorne is an award-winning author inspired by the romance and courage of youth. Her debut novel VICTORIAN TOWN won First Place for the 2019 Dante Rossetti Award.Nancy’s short stories have recently appeared in literary journals and magazines, including The First Line Literary Journal, The Blake-Jones Review, Edify Fiction, and Chicken Soup for the Soul.Born and raised in Toronto, Nancy fostered a passion for creating stories in grade school but hid it much too well. Eight years ago she decided to pursue her lifelong dream of telling them.Nancy is a member of Romance Writers of America and Toronto Romance Writers. She lives with her family just outside of Toronto along with an energetic labrador and entertaining corgi.

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