Guest Post by Kevin Brown
While Gabrielle Zevin’s title might initially make readers think of Shakespeare, she sets her story in the 1990s and 2000s video game culture. Her title refers to the ability to start over in games, to continue playing the game until one figures out how to win. Life, though, doesn’t present that same opportunity, and, while lifelong friends Sam and Sadie are still relatively young at the end of the novel, they have come to the clear realization that they are mortal. They are unable to start over during their experiences of loss, which, at times, paralyzes them; their differing approaches to those occurances often leads to the conflict between them. Sam and Sadie recognize each other’s gifts, but they also know each other better than most spouses, so they also see the other’s shortcomings. They thus often seem Shakespearean, star-crossed lovers who come together to create games, then drift apart, often over miscommunication and misunderstandings. Zevin’s novel explores creative friendships and the conflicts that come with them, but, more importantly, she creates characters one wants to spend time with, even when they are at their most frustrating. In other words, she creates characters who behave like humans, for better and worse.
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin. Knopf, July 2022.
Reviewer bio: Kevin Brown has published three books of poetry: Liturgical Calendar: Poems (Wipf and Stock); A Lexicon of Lost Words (winner of the Violet Reed Haas Prize for Poetry, Snake Nation Press); and Exit Lines (Plain View Press). He also has a memoir, Another Way: Finding Faith, Then Finding It Again, and a book of scholarship, They Love to Tell the Stories: Five Contemporary Novelists Take on the Gospels. Twitter @kevinbrownwrite or kevinbrownwrites.weebly.com/.
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