Thursday, September 27, 2007
Tomorrow - Graham Swift
“You’re asleep, my angels, I assume. So, to my amazement and relief, is your father, like a man finding it in him to sleep on the eve of his execution. He’ll need all he can muster tomorrow. I’m the only one awake in the house on this night before the day that will change all our lives.”
What an intriguing beginning to a novel. I love a good first sentence or paragraph!
Tomorrow is a story about love, secrets, identity and most of all (to me) what it is to be a family.
“Brilliantly distilling half a century into one suspenseful night, as tender in its tone as it is deep in its resonance, Tomorrow is a magical exploration of coupledom, parenthood and individuality, and a unique meditation on the mysteries of happiness and belonging.”
Swift’s words flow - capture a sense of time, place and character. To read this book is like having your mother read you a bedtime story. The tone is that soothing - that gentle and loving. And, in fact, the story is told from the mother’s voice, her POV. She is “speaking” to her children, telling them the story of her life, their father’s life, their love and the history that brings them all to this fateful night.
The element of suspense is sustained until almost the end of the novel. What is it that will be revealed that day? I was seriously tempted to sneak a peak but refrained. (I only allow myself to cheat like that with a book I really don’t like and will probably never finish.)
At the point where the “dilemma” is finally revealed (the event and/or knowledge that will change their lives) I experienced some reservations. And I can’t provide an explanation as to my reservations without giving away the suspense, the heart of the story. Suffice to say, in my opinion, the supposed life-altering news did not strike me as that shattering. Nor could I envision any sort of disastrous consequence taking place as a result of the revelation.
This one flaw (that perhaps only I perceive?) does not take away from the fact this book was still an immense pleasure to read. When an author creates such beauty with language, holds your interest with a fascinating tale of love and makes you want to pick up the book every chance you have – he or she has created a book well worth the read.
Despite my reservations, I still highly recommend Tomorrow.
Read, enjoy – and perhaps let me know if you agree or disagree with me?