To & Fro

416 pages

Trade Paper

List Price US $18.99
ISBN: 9781954276253


ISBN: 9781954276260

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“A literary jewel with multiple facets. . . . With its unconventional form and probing content, To & Fro invites rereading and deserves an honored place on the shelves of any serious fiction reader.”

Washington Post

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“A dreamy fable about telling, learning and knowing.”

Moment Magazine

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“Intriguing and beautiful.”

Hadassah Magazine

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“Dances with lyrical playfulness and emotional depth.”

Jewish Book Council

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“[To & Fro] satisfies readers. It reminds them of the joys and mysteries of childhood and recalls the ubiquitous desire to find one’s place in this world.”

Shelf Unbound

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“Leah Hager Cohen’s magnificent turn-and-read novel To & Fro is a tour de force peek into the wilds and wounds of childhood. . . . With ‘nary an end’ and triumphs aplenty, To & Fro is a luminescent novel that makes treasures of childhood wonder, whose heroines’ curiosity reflects the wisdom of sages.”

Foreword Reviews (starred review)

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“Like Carol Shields’s Happenstance and Ali Smith’s How to be both, each story mirrors and illuminates the other. Whether readers go ‘to’ or ‘fro,’ the journey is worthwhile, and the novel will enchant.”

Library Journal (starred review)

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“In Annamae [Cohen] creates a character worthy of Judy Blume. But it’s fans of Neil Gaiman and Lewis Carroll who should pay attention; Cohen creates two wondrous, funny, and fantastical worlds. Most impressively, Cohen knows that there is nothing more fantastic than the vastness of a young girl’s mind, and she lets her heroines shine.”


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“Delightful. . . . A magical celebration of language, stories, and youthful curiosity.”

Shelf Awareness

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“Playful and provocative.”

Publishers Weekly

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To & Fro is a luminous, charming, and utterly original novel filled with pleasures and provocations at every turn. Through some strange alchemy, Leah Hager Cohen has combined character-driven storytelling with brilliant philosophical forays into what it feels like to decipher the world, honor its mysteries, and stay open to its aches and gifts.”

Elizabeth Graver, author of The End of the Point and Kantika 

“Leah Hager Cohen’s writing is a wonder. Here are worlds nested inside worlds, each unfolding like a delicate paper staircase leading to destinations unknown. To & Fro is a gorgeous, captivating riddle of a book.”

Rachel Kadish, author of Tolstoy Lied: A Love Story and The Weight of Ink

“Excellent. . . . I was immediately immersed in each [girl’s] world.”

Erin Chervenock, Village Books (Bellingham, WA)

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“Physics class taught me that if I jumped into a tube that extended all the way through the earth, I’d fall endlessly from pole to pole, borne back and forth by gravity. Leah Hager Cohen made me feel the same sensation with To & Fro, a twin-tale novel . . . full of intelligence, humor, and deep feeling. It’s as if Eloise and Alice walked hand-in-hand through the looking glass and I was able to follow them.”

James Crossley, Leviathan Bookstore (St. Louis, MO)

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“What a magical, wondrous book! These mirrored coming of age stories . . . will hold you riveted.”

Alana Haley, Schuler Books (Grand Rapids, MI)

“Brilliantly told. . . . Magical, witty, and a genre of its own.”

Jacque Izzo, Books Are Magic (Brooklyn, NY)

“[To & Fro] can be read in any direction—start with “To” or begin with “Fro,” flip back and forth between the two, and be delighted by how they intersect. . . . There is no wrong way to read! Only heartfelt characters, beautiful imagery, and a story where there is no ending but lots to learn.”

Ruby Meyers, Annie Bloom’s Books (Portland, OR)

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“This poignant, unique novel made me feel like a child again in the best way! There’s a magical, soulful feeling to it and the girls’ search for a friend who truly understands them really hits home. I would recommend this to pretty much anyone.”

Rae Titcomb, Titcomb’s Bookshop (East Sandwich, MA)

Ani, journeying across a great distance accompanied by a stolen kitten, meets many people along her way, but her encounters only convince her that she is meant to keep searching. Annamae, journeying from childhood to young adulthood alongside her mother, older brother, and the denizens of her Manhattan neighborhood, never outgrows her yearning for a friend she cannot describe. From their different worlds, Ani and Annamae reach across the divide, perhaps to discover—or perhaps to create—each other.

Told in two mirrored narratives that culminate in a new beginning, To & Fro unleashes the wonders and mysteries of childhood in a profound exploration of identity, spirituality, and community.

Moment Magazine “Summer Reads” selection

Hadassah Magazine “Books to Kvell About” selection

WAMC The Roundtable “Book Picks” selection

Foreword Reviews “Book of the Day” selection

Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association’s NW Book Lovers “Face Out” selection

Annie Bloom’s Books Staff Pick

Leviathan Bookstore Recommendation

Titcomb’s Bookshop Staff Pick


Excerpt from To & Fro

Watch Leah Hager Cohen discuss her novel To & Fro in the “Petit Foreword” series and listen to her interview on the Association of Jewish Libraries Nice Jewish Books podcast.

Leah Hager Cohen shares more of the story behind To & Fro at Literary Hub and the Jewish Book Council’s Paper Brigade Daily.