PEOPLE YOU'VE BEEN BEFORE is a fierce and shattering portrait of a couple's 40-year relationship from marriage through divorce and its aftermath.
Tim Jollymore's ambitious book is a day in a life—or better, a life in one day—of novelist Els Mattila who has just completed a new work of fiction. Yet his visiting ex-wife charges that he's simply written a memoir that painfully exposes the addiction, abuse and betrayals of their relationship.
Their galvanizing encounter starts in Els' Manhattan apartment as the couple grapples with their complex and tragic history: a journey from Minnesota to Oakland and Hollywood, California, into a recovery program, and to Els' escape to New York City. Yet at every turn, the reader must decide who is telling the truth.
Wonderfuly written and full of profound observations about life, the purpose of fiction, and the power of redemption, PEOPLE YOU'VE BEEN BEFORE is a beautiful and haunting novel.
NOMINATED for five national Independent Pulblishing Awards!
Reviewed By K.C. Finn for Readers’ Favorite People You’ve Been Before: Not A Memoir is a work of intriguing fiction penned by author Tim Jollymore. The drama centers on a single couple as they meet for one day, recounting the forty years prior in which their married lives blossomed, thrived and ultimately fell apart, along with the major life events that caused those things to happen. Alongside this, central character Els Mattila has written a great work of fiction which his now ex-wife labels a memoir instead. Questions are raised about who really knows the truth in the relationship, and whether a story can ever be called truth or lies depending on whose hands hold the pen.
As a work of meta-fiction on the topic of writing, author Tim Jollymore has created a fantastic literary work with some really interesting philosophical considerations about the nature of truth. Els Mattila, the ageing creator of what he calls a fiction ”from memory”, is a really great mirror to hold up to the craft of writing and what it means to take from real life experiences and transform them into fictional moments. The relationship between the central couple of the tale is told episodically, chronicling the twists and turns of Els’s life in particular, and how that led the pair into marital tragedy that they never seemed to recover from. With addiction, shame and turmoil in the mix, there’s also a poignant message about relationships to be discovered. Overall, People You’ve Been Before: Not A Memoir is an excellent and thought-provoking read for literary fiction fans everywhere.