Thursday, February 23, 2012
Yesterday's Tomorrow by Catherine West
Yesterday's Tomorrow is author, Catherine West's, debut novel; but you wouldn't know by reading it.
From the very first page, she creates vivid images and characters that you'll empathize with, root for, want to slap upside the head a few times, but, mostly, fall in love with.
Set in war torn Vietnam, here is a brief run down of the story:
She's after the story that might get her the Pulitzer. He's determined to keep his secrets to himself. Vietnam, 1967. Independent, career-driven journalist Kristin Taylor wants two things: to honor her father's memory by becoming an award-winning overseas correspondent and to keep tabs on her only brother, Teddy, who signed up for the war against their mother's wishes. Brilliant photographer Luke Maddox, silent and brooding, exudes mystery. Kristin is convinced he's hiding something. Willing to risk it all for what they believe in, Kristin and Luke engage in their own tumultuous battle until, in an unexpected twist, they're forced to work together. Ambushed by love, they must decide whether or not to set aside their own private agendas for the hope of tomorrow that has captured their hearts.
I guess the best way I can think to describe Yesterday's Tomorrow, is that it's unflinchingly, heart breakingly, sometimes painfully, realistic.
In other words, it's not a light read. But I'm glad, because this era in history is one that deserves to be explored and revisited by someone brave enough to do it justice. I applaud Catherine, especially, for tackling the subject of post traumatic stress disorder, as it's not an easy thing to delve into. She truly does an amazing job of allowing the reader glimpses into what it must have been, and for some, still must be, like to endure.
The writing completely engages you throughout. Each scene propels the story forward wonderfully, plus the interactions between Luke and Kristen fairly crackle with tension, passion, danger, and awareness. You're never quite sure what will happen next, which leaves you on the edge of your seat. Also, I love the humor Catherine sprinkles into the dialogue, which helps to alleviate some tense moments and off set the serious circumstances which are ever present.
There honestly wasn't anything I didn't like about Yesterday's Tomorrow, and I highly recommend it as compelling storytelling at its finest. This book moved me deeply and I know I'll be putting it on my keeper shelf for future re-reading.