Gabrielle Zevin’s novel “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow” (buy the book) is a moving exploration of life, love, and loss that will tug at your heartstrings. Set in a fictional version of New York City, the story follows a young woman named Bennie, who works in a bookstore and has just lost her husband. But this is no ordinary love story – Bennie’s husband, Shelly, was cryogenically frozen after his death, and she is now faced with the decision of whether to have him revived or let him remain in stasis.
The novel is a poignant meditation on the nature of grief and the lengths we will go to hold onto the ones we love. Zevin’s prose is both lyrical and unflinching, capturing the raw emotions of loss and the hope of a second chance with equal skill. She weaves a complex web of relationships, exploring not just Bennie’s feelings for her husband but also her friendships with the quirky and lovable characters who populate her world.
One of the most compelling aspects of the novel is the way Zevin explores the implications of cryonics – the idea of freezing a body in the hopes of reviving it in the future. Bennie is initially skeptical of the practice, but as she grapples with her grief and begins to contemplate the possibility of a life without Shelly, she begins to see the appeal of the technology. Zevin asks the reader to consider the ethical and philosophical implications of such a practice, raising questions about what it means to be alive and whether it is possible to truly bring someone back from the dead.
Despite its heavy subject matter, “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow” is a delightful read, full of humor, heart, and wit. Zevin has a gift for creating memorable characters, and the people who populate Bennie’s world are a joy to spend time with. From her flamboyant best friend Sylvia to her eccentric boss at the bookstore, each character is fleshed out and fully realized, with their own quirks and idiosyncrasies.
The novel is also a love letter to literature, with Zevin peppering the text with references to classic books and authors. Bennie is a voracious reader, and her passion for books shines through in every page of the novel. Whether she is recommending titles to her customers or quoting her favorite passages to Shelly, books are a constant presence in Bennie’s life, and Zevin uses them to explore themes of life, death, and the human condition.
Ultimately, “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow” is a beautiful and thought-provoking novel that will linger in your mind long after you’ve finished reading it. Zevin’s skillful storytelling and nuanced exploration of grief and loss make for a deeply affecting reading experience that will leave you both moved and inspired. If you’re looking for a novel that will make you think and feel in equal measure, look no further than this captivating work of fiction.
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