Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin, is packed with thoughts and ideas, nuances that swim through the lines, drenched within a story of friendship and love, the entanglements of relationships enclosing and releasing a platitude of notions.
Destiny, fate, serendipity, reassurance, perspectives, creative differences, different sides of a person, reality, dreams, the layers in between, mortality, immortality, ghosts, blurred lines, love, anger, fear, starting over, living with disability, class related notions, identity politics, immigration, culture, grief and more fill the pages, presented within the realm of gaming.
The world of gaming binds the lives of the characters in the book. A story, a game, made up of Sadie and Sam having met as children in a hospital playing video games, and later as young adults reconnecting and meeting Marx, forming all together their own video game empire.
The pages of the book fly by, it’s cleverly written, with questions, sorrow, success, despair and hope lingering side by side; the engaging writing ensuring a reader’s tears will probably be released as the story of the characters emerge and unfolds. The author engineers for the three characters to connect and reconnect.
Life can start over in a video game, mistakes can be avoided in a second round, to reach the next level several tries can be had, games are a rehearsal in anticipation of a win.
Gaming in this novel becomes a metaphor for wishing we could, on occasion, start over; that the what if’s could be eradicated, that another chance could be given.
The title of the book taken from Shakespeare’s Macbeth where the protagonist mourning his wife contemplates on life, is borrowed by Zevin for that very essence, as the novel examines purpose and meaning, since for all of us one day, there is bound to be an end. And yet there is hope, the connections we make in our lives live on, through the hope to meet, if not in this world, in the next world, in the next game, we live on built in the memory of our loved ones or on a memory stick. What we go through, perhaps we can’t go back to change our outcomes, but perhaps we can always reconnect. In some way or the other. This book has many levels to it, Zevin’s skill is to present complex life questions through the concept of gaming; as if, life was a game.
Tried to pick up another book after this one, but was still invested in Sadie, Sam’s and Marx’s lives and the what’ if’s, as though the characters were not within a fictional game, but as references to lives within a world that is meant for us all to connect however we can.
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin, published by Vintage