Review: Is This Tomorrow, Caroline Leavitt

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book on Netgalley from the publisher in return for an honest review*
Is This Tomorrow, Caroline Leavitt
In 1956, when divorced, working-mom Ava Lark rents a house with her twelve-year-old son, Lewis, in a Boston suburb, the neighborhood is less than welcoming. Lewis yearns for his absent father, befriending the only other fatherless kids: Jimmy and Rose. One afternoon, Jimmy goes missing. The neighborhood in the era of the Cold War, bomb scares, and paranoia seizes the opportunity to further ostracize Ava and her son. Lewis never recovers from the disappearance of his childhood friend. By the time he reaches his twenties, he's living a directionless life, a failure in love, estranged from his mother. Rose is now a schoolteacher in another city, watching over children as she was never able to watch over her own brother. Ava is building a new life for herself in a new decade. When the mystery of Jimmy's disappearance is unexpectedly solved, all three must try to reclaim what they have lost.

Caroline Leavitt is the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Award in Fiction, and a Goldenberg Fiction Prize. She was also a National Magazine Award Nominee in Personal Essay, a finalist in the Nickelodeon Screenwriting Awards and a quarter finalist in the Fade In/Writers' Net screen play competition. A book critic for The Boston Globe, and People, she has also published in New York Magazine, Psychology Today, More, Cookie, Redbook, Parenting, and more.
Caroline has been a judge in both the Writers' Voice Fiction Awards in New York City and the Midatlantic Arts Grants in Fiction. She teaches novel writing online at both Stanford University and UCLA Extension Writers Program, as well as working with writers privately
She lives in Hoboken, New Jersey, New York City's unofficial sixth borough, with her husband, the writer Jeff Tamarkin, and their teenage son Max.

There are two main lines in this book and I have asked myself a few times while reading if it was not to much. There is the divorced Ava with her you teenage son in 1956. This was not a period people got divorced and if you were a pariah. This part of the book is done so well. For most of her life Ava just wants a normal life. Being left behind by her husband all she wants is the best for herself and Lewis. It is clear though that the situation influences both her and Lewis choices a lot. What I did not understand was the way she dressed. Often it was made clear she dressed very modern, to modern for the suburb she was living in obviously. I would expect in her situation she would have tried her best more to fit in. I had some trouble getting my head around that.
The other situation is the disappearance of Jimmy though it seems to be a small part of the whole story as in it happens they search and everybody is going on with his life the impact of it lingers trough the whole book. This is done very well. You can feel the tension, the what if's are everywhere and making me as a reader wonder too. Not only about where Jimmy is, but what will happen to Lewis and Rose. Will Lewis ever know the truth about his father and understand what happened between his parents.
In the end I have to say that both story lines were able to both live and get enough attention. The only thing that still bothers me is the visit Ava gets at the end of the book of a person. I still do not understand why this person showed up and what happened in there and what the use was to the story. I would have been perfectly satisfied I guess if that never happened.

Is This Tomorrow
Author: Caroline Leavitt
Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Pages: 360
Format: eGalley
ISBN-10: 1616200545
ISBN-13: 9781616200541
Algonquin Books: various
Is This Tomorrow

3 stars

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wensend.com
AUTHOR
05 January, 2014 delete

This seems like a great read, though maybe a bit depressing, isn't it?

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Isi
AUTHOR
05 January, 2014 delete

The synopsis looked interesting, but well, I suppose that the story is not perfectly developed from what you say in the review. What a shame!
But I have to say that I'm still interested in what happened to that poor boy!

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Melinda
AUTHOR
13 January, 2014 delete

The cover is so nice, and just reading the synopsis I would have thought this is a great book! I think your worries with the book would have bothered me too.

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