How Much of This Story is True?

Edna Jeffrey’s novel reads like a blend of romance and international intrigue and suspense—and insightful memoir.

When Edna Jeffrey was visited one morning by the spirit of a man she had known only briefly—more than sixty years before—she was tempted to dismiss the occurrence as a dream. But it wasn’t a dream; she was awake and fully aware. This visitor was very real. Furthermore he returned again and again, bringing her good cheer, always assuring her that he had never forgotten her, always assuring her they would be together forever when she joined him on the “other side.”

Edna decided she must relate this remarkable story, to let others know that love is eternal, lasting through the years of one’s life and even beyond.

But how could she tell such a story? She decided to entertain readers with a tale of what might have happened had she spent more time with Ali, the young Turkish statesman who dazzled her. She imagined a musical movie, with thrills and adventure, laughter and tears. The story grew into a Romeo-and-Juliet theme of love challenged by barriers of politics and religion.

Till I’m With You Again is a highly entertaining period comedy/drama set in pre-World War II New York, featuring a spirited young career girl, a dashing exotic stranger, hansom rides in the moonlight through Central Park and glamorous dancing at the Rainbow Room atop Rockefeller Center. The second half of the novel takes place seven years later in San Francisco, where our heroine has become a singing star. When the lovers reconnect it is at their peril, because by then the Cold War is building up and East and West are caught in a deadly struggle over the control of Turkey. The high-stakes adventure is packed with action and suspense, danger, honor, and death.

Much of Part One of the novel, set in New York in the 1940s, is true. Edna really did meet a handsome young Turk and spend an exciting evening with him. Part Two is all fiction, but that isn’t to say that the story doesn’t contain a great deal of truth. For if there is one message both Edna and Ali would have us know, it’s that the artifical barriers of nationalism and religion are meaningless compared with the strong, positive bonds of love. And love is forever. Part Three of the novel is true.

Edna Jeffrey was born and raised in San Francisco. She was trained as an actress at the Pasadena Playhouse, and she worked as a model in New York, a career she left behind when she chose to be a wife and mother. She has been a single mother for over forty years, and she now lives in Larkspur, in Marin County, California.

Till I'm With You Again
A Novel
by Edna Jeffrey
256 pages, paperback, $14.95
ISBN 1-56474-452-3

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