Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Is This Tomorrow by Caroline Leavitt


Is This Tomorrow by Caroline Leavitt
Copyright 2013
Algonquin Books - Fiction
359 pp.

He thought of how weird it was that when people left, the world didn't come spilling in to fill up the hole where they had been, the empty space just stayed there.   
~p. 59

Is This Tomorrow is one of the books that I've been hesitating to review because it's so good I felt (and still feel) powerless to describe its pull.  But, I'll try.

Ava is divorced, living in the shabbiest house on her block and having to endure the neighborhood gossip about her.  Being Jewish and divorced in the 1950s is not easy (and it doesn't help that she's beautiful), but she works hard and is pleased that she can to afford to rent a house at all, even if money is always tight.  Her ex is threatening to sue for custody of their son, Lewis, using her string of boyfriends as an excuse.  Lewis is her world. What can she do to stop the man who left them from gaining custody?

Lewis believes someday his father will return for him.  He has two close friends: Jimmy and Rose, a brother and sister living across the street.  When Jimmy disappears, it will change everyone's lives forever, especially those of Lewis and Rose.  What happened to Jimmy?  And, where is Lewis's father?  Will he ever return?

I read Pictures of You by Caroline Leavitt in 2011 and when I saw that Algonquin Books was set to release another book by Caroline Leavitt, I was thrilled.  Algonquin occasionally sends ARCs and I hoped a copy would arrive on my doorstep. It didn't, but that had to do with our mail thief; I was told it should show up any day when I expressed concern and then eventually I gave up.  A letter from Algonquin about another book that went missing led me to write back to let the Algonquin publicist know I hadn't received anything in ages.  I was sent replacements of Good Kings Bad Kings and Is This Tomorrow, shortly after, via UPS.

What I completely forgot was that I stayed up all night reading Pictures of You.  I was immediately sucked in by Is This Tomorrow and then I remembered . . . oh, no.  I should have started early and cleared my day.  I managed to stop myself about 1/3 of the way into the book, the first night, and then the next night was hopeless.  Another reading hangover, thanks to Caroline Leavitt.  I could not put that book down -- and then I couldn't get it out of my head.  Lewis and Rose are characters that sink into your heart and stay there.

I didn't fully understand Ava, but I could relate to her as an Outsider trying to fit in.

Highly, highly recommended - A practically perfect novel.  Great characters, wonderful story, and a touch of mystery that tugs on you so hard you can't put the book down are combined with exceptional writing.  Leavitt breaks your heart but then leaves you with a sparkling ray of hope.  It took days to get the characters out of my head and that was mostly by force; they're still milling around in my mind a bit, just not to the point that I can no longer pick up another book. Is This Tomorrow is a book that is not to be missed, one of my Top 5 in 2013. Okay, wait, no.  It's my #1, at this point.  And, I've read some fabulous books.  Be sure to set aside a time to read Is This Tomorrow when you can get away with reading a book from cover to cover.

Many, many thanks to Algonquin for replacing the copy that disappeared in the mail.  

©2013 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery  or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email bookfoolery@gmail.com for written permission to reproduce text or photos.

14 comments:

  1. I'm glad to hear this one is so good because I have it on audio. I can't wait for some time to listen to it.

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    Replies
    1. It's excellent, Dar. Hope your audio has a good reader!

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  2. Anonymous12:20 PM

    Oh! This is the kind of review any writer dreams of. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I'm so honored and thrilled.

    Caroline Leavitt

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    1. You're very welcome, Caroline. I hope Is This Tomorrow gets a *lot* of attention!

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  3. What a fantastic review! I have a copy of this one waiting for me, I just need time to squeeze it in - this is making me want to pick it up right now :)

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    1. Thanks, Shannon! When you do pick it up, I guarantee it'll be impossible to put down. Hope you get to read Is This Tomorrow soon!!! It's so good.

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  4. Sounds like a good one! Thanks for the tip

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    1. That it is! You're welcome!

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  5. I've been hearing nothing but great stuff about this book. Great review!!

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    1. There must be some equally discerning readers out there, haha. It really is a beautifully-written, heart-tugging book. I'm sure you'll love it, Jennifer!

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  6. Sounds like I'm reall missing out on something good.

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    1. You don't have to miss out. Run out and get a copy, Ryan. It's worth the money.

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  7. How nice that the publisher sent you another copy! I like to hear thins like that :)

    I was waiting for your review of this one! Sounds like a fabulous read. I liked her first book a lot so I'm excited about this one. Will have to add it to my reading list.

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    1. Wasn't that kind of Algonquin? They didn't have to send me a replacement copy of those two books, but boy did I appreciate it. And, Is This Tomorrow was so fabulous that they ended up with a glowing review so I guess it was win-win. I'm sure you'll love it.

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