Well, here's a new one on my road to publication. I haven't seen this one before. About four months ago, I sent a partial at an agent's request. She liked my query and wanted to see the first three chapters. She kept it for three months. At the end of that time, I received a very nice rejection from her. She really liked it, read and re-read it, and had tried to find a place to work it into her agency's list, but could not, so she was rejecting it with regrets.
The unusual part? Last night, after another month had passed, I get another note from the same agent. She was, apparently, still attached to my partial. She said she had continued to review and re-review it. She called it "very strong work" and invited me to resubmit to her in six months if I had not found representation elsewhere, but currently the market would not allow her to take it on.
Sigh. How close can one come without smoking the proverbial cigar?