Together, Again by Milly Johnson paperback cover

Together, Again​ (2022)

Together Again characters
Together, Again is a novel about sister helping sister to heal from childhood scars, and of finding, in each other, the love they have all been deprived of. Together, Again is about vulnerability and strength, acceptance and family, kindness, hope and triumph over adversity. 

Sisters Jolene, Marsha and Annis have convened at Fox House, their childhood home, following the death of their mother, the spiky Eleanor Vamplew. Born seven years apart, the women have never bonded and are more strangers than sisters but they must work together to arrange a funeral their mother would be proud of.

Jolene, the eldest, is a successful romantic novelist who writes templates of beautiful relationships even though her marriage to the handsome and charming Warren is complicated. She fears she has turned into her cold, emotionless mother. But has she – or has she just learned to separate herself into two in order to function?

Marsha, the neglected middle child, has put every bit of her energy into her work, hoping to earn the coveted validation from her parents who wanted a boy, not another girl. Now she is home and the man who broke her young, lonely heart has been forced back into her life. But can she finally bear to close that door and open another for a new, unexpected love?

Annis, the youngest, is the renegade, who left home aged sixteen and never returned, not even for the death of their beloved father, Julian. Until now. But why did Eleanor Vamplew recently change her will to leave everything to this daughter she has refused to mention for fifteen years, the one she considered a wretched accident?

In the three weeks between Eleanor’s death and her funeral truths are uncovered, lies are exposed… but maybe some secrets are best kept.

I have no siblings so the dynamics between them have always fascinated me. I haven’t written a story before about sisters and I wanted to explore that new territory.  This is the antithesis of ‘Woman in the Middle’ which is about the close relationship between mothers and their children plus a bit of sibling rivalry. This book is about the damage done when children are brought up without parental love or attention and of sisters growing close once the enormous, choking shadow of their mother has gone.

I was talking to a lady at an event about how her mother used to ‘lend her out’ to her boyfriends when she was a young girl and yet she still loved her mother, despite leaving home as soon as she could and never seeing her again. It made me realise how complex some families are, our feelings do not always fit into pigeon holes, they snag and knot. And my story is relevant to this age where appearance is all and shiny veneers cover a lot of underlying rot.

Families are not always cosy, marriages are often bumpy, some parents are rubbish at the job, some children have miserable childhoods. If you are going to write from real life, as I do, you accept that these are the realities for some people. And when a death occurs of a big family figure, there is sometimes an earthquake of sorts as forced reverence conflicts with resentful feelings. I already starting getting letters about this book before it was out on the shelves. It will touch nerves, I also hope that it gives out the message that everything can be overcome and the past should stay there and not blot the future.

This is a fucked-up family par excellence, they are square pegs that have never found their round holes. Is it too late to reverse the damage? Don’t expect me to shy away from what happens out there in the cold, hard world.

It’s already dividing opinion. Some think it’s not in my usual style – it is, it’s just weighted less towards the comedy – all my books are hard-hitting in their way. I don’t write to please individual readers, I write what is inside me waiting to come out. Life sometimes is dark and hard and I wanted to write a book that packed a punch for my 20th, this is the one I have wanted to write for a long time. It’s deep and emotional but ride with that, I ask you. The reviews that are good are really good and I couldn’t be more delighted about that. This review sums it up – from Pam Norfolk at the Lancashire Evening Post. She ‘gets’ me every time and this was what I needed to hear (if it doesn’t come up automatically type ‘together again’ in the search bar, top left). 

In saying that, I hope you love the blossoming of my women, their growing love, support and understanding for each other and the power of kindness, because there is a lot of that in this book. And how the skill of reading is a fundamental one much undervalued.

As ever, when I tackle a heavy subject, I counterbalance it with a light hand where appropriate and I hope you enjoy the wonderful men in my story, and rejoice at my girls strengthening and also their softening.   

Out now in paperback, hardback, ebook and audiobook. Order the paperback from Amazon:

Also available from the following retailers:

Praise for Together, Again

‘This masterpiece honestly describes the strength and acceptance required to be a family. 5 STARS.’
– Adele Parks, Book of the Month, Platinum magazine

‘Darkness and light, complexity and humour, Milly has nailed the perfect cocktail for a compelling, page-turning read. Absolutely magnificent.’
– Veronica Henry

‘Emotional, empowering and heart-wrenching – sisterhood at its finest.’
– Cathy Bramley

‘Emotional, heart-wrenching, powerful.’
– Helen, Goodreads

‘Another stunningly beautiful book by Milly Johnson. Milly just keeps hitting them out the park and each book just keeps getting better. This book is no exception. It will make you laugh and make you cry and make you feel utterly uplifted and like you have had a great big hug.’
–  JustKeepReading

‘Once I started this book, I was hooked and I could not put it down. I read this novel in 2 great big delicious chunks. This book is definitely on the darker side of what we come to expect from this author but with the darkness comes the light of love found in family and the love found in unexpected or forgotten ties.’
– Fabulous Book Fiend, Blogger

‘Milly does it again. Three daughters , one who was estranged come together after their mother dies. Lots of secrets and twists and turns come out. Brilliant. Even the will was intriguing . Loved it.’
–  Adam Carling, Goodreads

‘Another triumph from this wonderful author. She deals with the darkest of issues, including parental abuse and coercive behaviour with her trademark warmth, wisdom and gritty wit.’
– Anne Cater

‘I have read and loved every book that Milly has written, and this is yet another to add to my collection of favourite reads. Five well-earned glittering stars from me.’
– Gaye, Goodreads

‘This is an absolutely wonderful, heartwarming novel, full of family love, family heartache and the ending of family feuds’
– Bishops Stortford Independent

‘This is another outstanding book from Milly Johnson. The story is maybe a little darker than we are used to from her, but it’s classic Milly in that her unique wit and turn of phrase bounce off the pages.
This story twists and turns in some very unexpected ways. I honestly had no idea how it would end, so I was completely gripped to the very last page.
I truly loved this book. I loved the characters. The three sisters were all so likeable and the way they bonded was beautiful.
Who could fail to fall a little bit in love (or lust) with gentle soul Daz or hot gardener Eric. Form an orderly queue ladies!
I loved how the darkness in this story is balanced out with fun and humour.
Ok, I just loved the whole book!

A glorious five ⭐️ Read. This book is warm, intelligent, poignant, touching, bitter sweet, emotional and ultimately uplifting.
Together Again is one of those stories that has found a place in my heart, it’s something quite special.’
– Sarah Kingsnorth, Goodreads