Thursday, May 23, 2013
Is This Tomorrow
Author: Caroline Leavitt
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
What does it mean to be an outsider in a community? How do we keep the ones we love safe? in 1950s suburbia, everything is meant to be perfect, even as paranoia about Communism and nuclear bombs winds its way through the supposed paradise. But when divorced, sensual-without-meaning-to-be, Jewish single mother Ava rents a house with her 12-year-old son, Lewis, she struggles to fit in and find her place in the neighborhood. Lewis finds solace with the only other two fatherless kids on the block, his best friends Jimmy and Rose, but when Jimmy vanishes one day, Ava is suddenly suspect and Lewis and Rose's life will be changed forever. A novel about people trying desperately to uncover secrets about the past--and about themselves.
This is story with so many little stories wrapped up in it. Many layers of anger, fright, racism, and abandonment are all entwined within this story of Ava and her son Lewis.
It's the 1950s and Ava is struggling with her life. She has a huge hurdle to overcome - the stigma slapped on her as not only a divorced woman (automatic threat to every marriage on the block) but she's also Jewish. Thereby totally not trusted by most of the people she deals with on a day to day basis. Her son, Lewis, also has to overcome the struggles that come with this preconceived stigma.
Lewis has two friends in the school, Jimmy and Rose. One day Jimmy disappears and no trace of him is found. Jimmy had a childlike crush on Ava and immediately she finds herself once more in the crosshairs of neighborhood suspicion.
The novel then segues into the aftermath, the fallout you might say, of life after a friend and child mysteriously vanishes. It of course affects Jimmy's mother and sister, his best friend Lewis and also Ava. It delves into the struggles they all face to move on in life and come to peace with their current existence.
Jimmy's body is eventually found, years later, and when the truth comes out as to what actually happened to him - I can't help but say I was completely taken off guard and shocked.
Good writing with a gripping story line.
Read an excerpt HERE.