Let me just say, right at the start, that this book is all about kindness, and more than anything about kindness in friendship. I think everyone who thinks of themselves as a friend to someone must read this book. It will only strengthen your bond with that one friend or more than one friend you hold close to your heart. And also, there’s none of the preachy stuff, nor does it try to be a self-help guide in any way. If nothing, Zevin shows relationships for what they are: messy, complicated, but in the end all-enduring.
Yes, this book is about two friends who meet when they are kids – when the meaning of friendship is known, but not about its endurance. They meet in a hospital – playing video games – what they know and love best – and video games chart the course of their lives – well in some manner or the other – through their friendships, loves, falling-out, anxiety, depression, disabilities, and above all making them realise their worth in each other’s lives. It is about misunderstandings, about race and class, about how the other is treated in the United States of America, of privilege, of disability (the most honest portrayal of it I have read in contemporary literature), and of second and third chances – to make us feel how after all we are all waiting to reset whatever happens to us, and start anew.
“Tomorrow, And Tomorrow, And Tomorrow” came to me at a time when I suppose I needed it the most. It made me see the power of relationships, and how flawed we all are in the larger scheme of things. Through video games – across decades, Zevin’s writing takes the reader through so much – the universe in which video games are made, the intricacies of each game, the dynamics of Sadie, Sam, and Marx, of how it is to find solace in a world that is unreal, but is more real to you because of the comfort it provides, and ultimately the question of love, and what it really is.
Through the book, I found myself thinking of my relationships with people – of what they were, what they could’ve been, and what they are. The book moved me to tears in so many places – Zevin doesn’t sentimentalise emotions – she doesn’t write to make you weep or cry – she just tells the story that she wants to, and all emotions come along the way. I experienced the same while reading, “The Collected Works of A.J. Fikry” and recommended it very highly to one and all.
“Tomorrow, And Tomorrow, And Tomorrow” is a book I cannot stop recommending. Please read it, if you haven’t already. I am just so happy that it happened to be my first read of 2023, and just as sad, because it ended.
Books and Authors mentioned in the book:
- The White Album by Joan Didion
- Twelfth Night
- The Marriage of Beth and Boo
- King Lear
- The Mikado
- The Tempest
- A Brief History of Time
- Kiki’s Delivery Service
- A Chorus Line
- The Call of the Wild
- Call it Courage
- The Hero’s Journey
- The Language Instinct
- Swiss Family Robinson