Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow
I waited a long time to get my hands on this popular book and it was worth it! I was traveling when I read it, so sadly, I took no notes. Now a week later, I will have to draw on memory to tell you about it.
I knew nothing about Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow when I started reading. That is my preferred method, by the way. I was delighted to meet Zevin’s characters who are brilliant, yet human, and whose decisions based on their emotions create divides that the reader is just hoping will be resolved before it is too late.
The main characters, Sadie Green and Sam Masur are brilliant gamers and game designers, who first meet in a hospital when they are children. Sam had been in a tragic car accident and Sadie’s sister was battling leukemia. In the hospital lounge, they quickly discover their mutual love for video games. They have a big falling out when Sadie turns thirteen, however, and pride prevents them from making up. Now they meet by chance in Boston as college students. Sadie is at MIT, Sam’s at Harvard. Note: sometimes I get frustrated when I read books where everyone goes to elite colleges. Don’t let that put you off. They belong there. Ultimately, they collaborate on a video game that launches a hugely successful game design company. Barely into their twenties, Sadie and Sam are millionaires and they head for California. But egos, hurt feelings and misunderstandings get in the way of happiness.
The title is a Shakespeare reference to Macbeth’s well-known soliloquy, but also refers to the essence of video games where there’s always a chance to start over. Also playing into the story are the characters’ mixed races and cultures, as well as their loneliness despite their success. Believe it or not, it reminds me of Life After Life by Kate Atkinson because it has that “what would have happened if I did this or of this didn’t happen” theme.
I’m not a gamer, but I enjoyed diving into the gaming world and especially loved reading about their creative process, which really is about developing characters, themes and story lines. It’s definitely not just graphics. I will tell you that the last section gets a little meta because you’re deep into a game and its avatars. I thought it was really clever how the author wrote that into the story.
Throughout the book, I wondered if Sadie and Sam would ever have a romantic relationship. There are many missed opportunities and Zevin fills the book with strong emotions and realistic human situations. You’ll have to read the book to find out what happens!
I recommend Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow to readers who like stories with great characters. This is my second book by Gabrielle Zevin. I also loved The Storied Life of A J. Fikry.
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