Publisher: Harper Collins (Harper imprint)
Pub date: 25 Jan 2011
Source: ARC from Publisher
I’m getting back to YA fiction after a bit of a break and this book was a great welcome back!
Sixteen year old Tamara Goodwin, born into luxury, has never had to think of tomorrow or plan ahead. Everything she wants, she gets. Until her father dies, leaving a mountain of debt to be paid off. Tamara and her mother have to sell their house and move in with her aunt and uncle, far away from everything she has known.
In this new place, Tamara has to find ways to keep herself occupied while escaping the oppressive hovering of her aunt. She is also worried about her mother who is lost in grief and doesn’t come out of her room all day.
She comes across a book, a diary which magically has entries written in Tamara’s handwriting dated for the next day. Initially skeptical, she soon comes to believe the diary, but it changes her life and teaches her about fate, sorrow, loss and her life.
If that seems like too large a set-up for a young adult novel, worry not, for Cecelia Ahern delivers with the story.
Tamara is a rich spoilt, bratty teenager. She is stubborn and willful and mean. Sounds like a typical YA coming of age novel, doesn’t it? But The Book of Tomorrow is not a typical story.
Tamara is interestingly precocious and has great spirit. She sees the world differently and we meet her at a point in her life when she’s already aware that her old life was superficial. She quickly grew on me and I wanted to see how she would handle her new life.
The magical aspects of the story are introduced in small doses, leaving us wondering if there is a rational explanation for things after all. And the suspense keeps building until I was as impatient as Tamara to find out what was really going on and why her aunt was being so secretive.
Living on the grounds of an old ruined castle is a source of great amusement for Tamara while she is staying with her aunt and uncle. With nothing to do and no friends, she wanders the grounds and meets people who make a difference in her life in many ways.
The story also examines the notion of fate and questions if we are able to change what is pre-ordained once we know what it is. Tamara makes many mistakes in spite of having the diary tell her how things will go if she does certain things. But ultimately her curiosity and her innate goodness take her on a very important journey. She helps her mother come to terms with her loss and uncovers mysteries that will change her life forever and make it a lot more meaningful.
Ahern has given Tamara an easy tone, filled with sarcasm and wit. Her descriptions are lyrical, language brilliant and the setting magical – these also added greatly to my enjoyment of this book.
A sweet, magical tale about grief and loss. Recommended for young adults and adults who enjoy their lives sprinkled with dashes of magic.
*See my Rating policy