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And Now You Can Go by Vendela Vida
21-year old Ellis is an art-history graduate student new to the New York City, when she is accosted by a man with a gun in Riverside Park. He tells her he wants to kill himself, but doesn't want to die alone. Ellis' reaction is to spout whatever poetry comes to her mind, and thinking she's even worse off than him, he lets her go unharmed. At least, physically. Emotionally, the incident has left Ellis a bit unhinged. She keeps her distance with everyone, the police, family, and the men who want to "save" her. And Now You Can Go is the story of Ellis' search for solace, and finding herself again after the incident upset her own self-image. It's not until she accompanies her mother, a nurse, on a mission to the Phillipines that Ellis begins to find some answers. Vendela Vida's debut novel has garnered a mixed bag of reviews. The Miami Herald calls this "deeply, beautifully textured novel."