Friday, August 9, 2013

Audiobook Review: Is This Tomorrow by Caroline Leavitt

Title:  Is This Tomorrow

Author:  Caroline Leavitt

Narrator:  Xe Sands

Unabridged Length:  aprox. 11.5 hrs

Here is a summary of the book from the publisher's website
It’s 1956, and working-mother Ava Lark and her son, Lewis, have rented a house in a less-than-welcoming Boston suburb. There, Lewis finds he is only able to befriend the other fatherless kids on the block, Jimmy and Rose. But when Jimmy goes missing, neighborhood paranoia ramps to new heights, further ostracizing Ava and Lewis.

Lewis never recovers from the loss of his childhood friend. In his twenties, he is a failure in love, living without direction, estranged from his mother. When Jimmy’s disappearance is unexpectedly solved, however, Lewis, Rose, and Ava are thrown together once more to try to untangle the remaining pieces of the puzzle and reclaim something of what they have lost.

My Review:
I loved this novel that takes us into a period when times were simple for many people, but an obvious struggle for others.  Ava falls into the category of living with hardships as she is a beautiful, divorced, single mother, doing what needs to be done to provide for herself and her young son.  Her lifestyle does not fit the perfect cookie-cutter appearance of the rest of her neighbors.

The story is really told from the viewpoints of several people.  Ava's son, Lewis, being one of them.  Lewis really is not very comfortable in his skin and not having a father around to help him deal with things doesn't help.  The kids tease him often since Lewis often wears hand-me-downs as Ava can't afford much else.  Since Ava is also Jewish they use that as a point of teasing too.

Jimmy is Lewis' best friend who happens to be smitten with Ava.  When Jimmy ends up missing one day, we also see the story through his sister Rose's eyes.  When Jimmy is never found, Rose finds that she can't enjoy things the way she used to.  Her mother seems to have forgotten that she is still here, and alive, so Rose starts to question her own worth in the world.

Life continues on for all of the characters even though Jimmy is never found.  As they stumble through their own existence, pieces relating to his disappearance come to light.  I don't want to give any more of this audiobook away as I found it a very enjoyable to experience the way events unfolded.  I think Sands did a good job of narrating and especially brought Ava's character to life for me.  I will admit that I found it annoying when she narrated the dialogue of male characters, especially the young boys.  She made them sound as if they were on drugs or half asleep all the time.  So if it weren't for that, I would have given this audiobook a perfect rating of 5!

I found myself always looking forward to listening to this book and thoroughly enjoyed the combination of drama and mystery.  With themes of perseverance, truth, love, and mystery, I think many of you would enjoy this book as much as I did.  I don't hesitate in recommending this book for personal leisure or as a book club selection.

My rating:  4/5

Disclosure:  This book was provided to me by the publisher through the Audio Jukebox program in exchange for an honest review.


bermudaonion said...

This sounds fantastic! I have it in print but now wonder if I should look for the audio.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the wonderful review! It means so much to me. And thank you Bermuda onion, too.

Caroline Leavitt

Laura's Reviews said...

This sounds fantastic - I will definitely have to check it out. I want to know how this mystery ends!

Thanks for the great review!

Jo-Jo said...

Kathy: I think it would be fun to read the printed version first, and then listen to the audio!

Caroline: You're welcome...I really enjoyed your novel!

Laura: It definitely had the mystery element wanting you to find out more.

Anonymous said...

This looks really good. And the author gets bonus points for commenting :)