Is it beshert, or just coincidence?
The most attractive boy she had ever seen, spotted across the hostel dining room on a USY Israel Pilgrimage trip. The worldly and captivating Israeli man she met while working at a Jewish sleepaway camp in Connecticut. The darkhaired mysterious stranger who played guitar in the hallway of her New York University dorm. Each a chance encounter during formative moments in Jessica Shorstein’s life who all somehow wove their way back into her future.
Embark with Jessica in this alternatingly humorous and poignant memoir against the backdrops of Israel, New York City, and Washington, DC. Travel along as she rides the highs and lows of young love, navigates missed chances and inopportune timing, and ultimately embraces closure, all while growing into a young Jewish adult in the time of AOL Instant Messenger, when cell phones were not yet ubiquitous.
And Again, It’s You is a cozy, ever-relatable, and nostalgic journey to find meaning in unexpected reconnections with faces from the past.
And Again, It’s You: A Memoir
Is it beshert, or just coincidence?
Courtesy of Jessica Shorstein
<p>1. There are several instances in the book where Jessica runs into a person from her past in an unexpected place. Have you ever had something happen in your life that made you wonder if there was more at play than mere coincidence? Share your experience.
<p>2. Do you think that Jessica and Jared’s story would have turned out differently if Jessica had transferred to Boston University? Why or why not?
<p>3. There are several occasions when a physical book is referenced in the story — one carried by Jared, one lent to Jessica, one rediscovered years later. What do you think the book could symbolize in this story?
<p>4. Did AOL Instant Messenger play a role in your life as a teen, college student, young adult or at any other phase of your life? If so, what role did it play?
<p>5. How did the internet factor generally into your dating life (past or present)?
<p>6. Discuss Jessica’s change in sentiment toward Jared that she first experienced in New York. Why do you think it occurred?
<p>7. Why do you think the section on Rob — the middle school crush met at a bat mitzvah party who showed up later on — was included in Chapter 7? How did that plot line connect to the overall story?
<p>8. Why do you think that Jessica reacted the way she did on her date with Sam, the boy with the guitar, in Chapter 8?
<p>9. Why do you think that Jared stayed in the back of Jessica’s mind for so many years?
<p>10. This book touches on the theme that we, as people, are truly connected. Do you believe this is true? Why or why not?
<p>11. Did you ever have a relationship or romantic interest and later wondered whether things would have been different if timing had more appropriately aligned? Share your experience.
<p>12. Do you feel like there was someone who came into your life at a specific time for a reason suited to that particular moment? Share your experience.
<p>13. Did you have an early love or crush who you carried as an ideal in your mind until you actually reconnected with them later in life? Share your experience.
<p>14. Did any other aspects of this memoir relate to your own life? If so, please explain.
<p>15. What, if any, were (or are) your experiences trying to date Jewishly as a young adult or young professional?
<p>16. How did you maintain (or find) your Jewish identity once you left home and were on your own?
<p>17. How did you feel about the book’s ending?
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