On the Bookshelf...

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

Gabrielle Zevin

On a bitter-cold day, in the December of his junior year at Harvard, Sam Masur exits a subway car and sees, amid the hordes of people waiting on the platform, Sadie Green. He calls her name. For a moment, she pretends she hasn't heard him, but then, she turns, and a game begins: a legendary collaboration that will launch them to stardom. These friends, intimates since childhood, borrow money, beg favors, and, before even graduating college, they have created their first blockbuster, Ichigo. Overnight, the world is theirs. Not even twenty-five years old, Sam and Sadie are brilliant, successful, and rich, but these qualities won't protect them from their own creative ambitions or the betrayals of their hearts. Spanning thirty years, from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Venice Beach, California, and lands in between and far beyond, Gabrielle Zevin's Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is a dazzling and intricately imagined novel that examines the multifarious nature of identity, disability, failure, the redemptive possibilities in play, and above all, our need to connect: to be loved and to love. Yes, it is a love story, but it is not one you have read before.

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow (TTT) by Gabrielle Zevin is one of the most astonishing dazzling fiction stories I have ever read. This is an epic of a book set over many years. A story that's essentially about the love between two people yet manages to be so much more than those two components.

Sam and Sadie meet each other in hospital when they are children. Sam's in recovering from surgery after a car accident, Sadie visiting her sister who has cancer. A chance meeting in a games room, they find a mutual love of computer games which forms the backstory for the whole book. Sam, whose parents die in the accident, hasn't talked to anyone since the incident, but yet manages to talk and bond with Sadie. She is encouraged by the staff to visit Sam, each time getting her card marked so she can claim for community service. However, she really enjoys the sessions and her friendship with Sam. When he finds out about the card, he refuses to see her. Years later he sees her in a subway station and their friendship is renewed.

There was so much to like about this story. It ticked the boxes with me being set against the background of the games industry, drawing me into connecting with the characters. You really do invest in the outcome in this book. Both Sam and Sadie are complicated characters, each having fatal flaws in their personalities. Yet you can't help but like them. This book, all four hundred pages just fly by as you get a ring side seat on their lives. A true epic of a story that is addictive. It leaves you wanting more at the end and wanting a sequel. Along the way there's real heartbreak. The last part has so much love in it. The story of Sams game that he creates just for Sadie, is utterly brilliant.

I first read a book by Gabrielle Zevin back in 2005 (?) when Elsewhere was released for a YA audience. That was an extraordinary book that still makes me think. TTT is another such book, it's more complex, yet so easy to read. It has joy, yet intense heartache. This is a book that deserves all the accolades it has been given. A real pleasure to read. Beg steal or borrow this book, OK maybe not steal, but use your local library.

I'd give this six Towers if I could but feel I won't read another better book this year.

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Review by
AJ Steel
September 11, 2023

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