On a rainy afternoon in 1985, Corey Moore, a single, thirty-eight-year-old New York psychologist runs into his childhood girlfriend on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Eleventh Street, just up from Washington Square. Gina, an actress, is twice divorced and focused on her career. Corey attends her opening that evening, and three months later, they marry. Things don’t go smoothly, though, as they hadn’t twenty years earlier. Together, they buy an old house in Connecticut, thinking they might shore up their own sagging connection in the process of renovation.
By means of flashback, the reader observes Corey and Gina as adolescents. We meet Corey’s music teacher, with whom Corey is involved, sexually. We meet the boys Gina uses to act out against the Catholic strangle hold of her parents. This backstory reaches a climax that blows all these relationships apart and marks Corey and Gina for life.
Bored with the house restoration, Gina brings an actor friend to Connecticut one weekend. Jack and Corey hit it off from the start, and Corey is startled and dismayed at the intensity of his feelings for Jack. The novel follows their relationship over the succeeding three years, as a secret is revealed that changes everything for the two men.
That Was Then is a story of adolescent confusion and trauma and its effect on adult lives. It is also a story of withholding and the damage that can come of it. Ultimately, it is a story of love appearing in unexpected and varied forms.