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Fiction Review: Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

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I absolutely loved The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin, when I first read it back in 2015 and again in 2019 (my review at the link). So, when I heard about Zevin’s latest novel, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, I immediately knew I had to read it and wasn’t surprised by all the rave reviews that followed. I enjoyed every minute of this unique novel. This moving story of a special friendship spanning thirty years is beautifully written and immersive.

When Sam was twelve years old, he was in a horrible car accident. His mother died, and he was left with a mangled foot that would require on-going surgeries and give him constant pain throughout his life. Six weeks after the accident, his grandparents and doctors were worried because he hadn’t spoken a word. One day, Sadie walked into the game room on the pediatric ward of the hospital. She was visiting her sister, who was being treated for cancer. Sadie sat down next to Sam, watched him play his game, and started talking to him about it. Sam talked back, and a friendship was born. They both loved video games and spent more than 600 hours together playing games while Sam was in the hospital. Then, they had a falling out. Years later, while attending Harvard, Sam spotted Sadie on a subway platform in Boston. He’d heard she was going to MIT. They resumed their friendship and took their love of gaming to the next level, designing a unique video game together. Sam’s roommate, Marx, becomes the game’s producer, and before they’d even graduated from college, they were a huge success. Their game was a hit, and they were launched into a world of wealth and fandom. Sadie and Sam kept collaborating on designing games, with Marx by their side, but all sorts of challenges arose over the years, from failed games to personal tragedies to ambition, love, and jealousy. Can Sam and Sadie withstand all of this and remain friends?

This is an epic story of friendship, following Sam and Sadie across decades of their lives, from California to Boston and beyond. As in A.J. Fikry, Zevin creates such full characters that you feel completely absorbed into their story. She’s an excellent writer, with a talent for finding just the right words for each sentence, realistic dialogue, and descriptions that make you feel like you’re there. You don’t have to be a gamer to enjoy this book; the last video games I played were Space Invaders and Pac Man as a teen, but I still found their game designs and world-building fascinating. Besides friendship, Zevin also tackles love, living with a disability, loss, and the ups and downs that define every life. I marked many thought-provoking passages that I could relate to. But at its core, this warm, emotionally complex novel is mostly a great story, peopled by in-depth, likable but flawed characters and beautifully written. It’s an engrossing story to get lost in. I’m going to miss Sam and Sadie.

397 pages, Alfred A. Knopf

Random House Audio

Note: This post contains affiliate links. Purchases from these links provide a small commission to me (pennies per purchase), to help offset the time I spend writing for this blog, at no extra cost to you.


This book fits in the following 2023 Reading Challenges:

Mount TBR Challenge

Monthly Motif – White-out (white cover or wintry theme) – winter was a prominent feature during their years in Cambridge!

Diversity Challenge

Literary Escapes Challenge – Massachusetts

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