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Friday, June 03, 2011

My review of Yesterday's Tomorrow by Catherine West.

Yesterday's Tomorrow

About the book:

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.

My review:

This review is going to be difficult for me to condense into a few paragraphs. There were so many things I loved about this book. I was talking to my aunt about how I was alive during the Vietnam War, but it wasn't talked about much when I was growing up. It was like people wanted to forget it ever happened. I've met a number of Vietnam Vets and none of them wanted to talk about their experiences either. So while I wasn't sure if I'd like this book or not because of the subject matter, I decided to try it anyway because it was a debut novel. Well, I am so glad I did because it far exceeded my expectations.

I've read a few other books set during the Vietnam war era, but none of them were as detailed and compelling as this story. I felt like I WAS Kristin and that I was in Vietnam with her. I rarely have an experience that is so enthralling that I forget I'm reading and my mind goes to the place where I'm reading about. I felt that connection with this story. I read a lot of books so I know exceptional writing when I read it. Why was this story so amazing? I'll tell you...

When I read a book I want to get lost in the story. This book did that for me. When I read a book I want to care about the characters. This book did that for me, too. I loved the people and the relationships between them. I loved the emotion and the fact that the author wasn't afraid to let her characters deal with some difficult challenges. I got tearful a number of times and had to refrain from crying in the airport (I didn't want people to wonder why I had tears rolling down my cheeks.) All I wanted to do was read the book until I finished it, but I had to go out of town, so when I got a chance to finish the story I picked it up again and stayed up until I read THE END.

Did I mention that I loved this book? My emotions soared. I felt like I understood the characters when they had PTSD symptoms. I don't want to give away any spoilers, but toward the end I was practically biting my nails wondering what would happen to them. This novel satisfied me in every way. I never thought a love story set in Vietnam would have such a powerful impact on me that I would keep thinking about the story even after I finished it. There were so many good nuggets of truth in the story. The faith message was believable, and the love story was incredible!

I am definitely going to read another book by this author. Not only is her prose beautiful, but her pacing is perfect and her romantic tension is written exactly the way I like it. A very satisfying read, and just edgy enough to be compelling without being overly done. In fact, though I really hate to part with this book, I told my aunt she MUST read it because I can guarantee she will not only love it, but will spread the word about the story, too. This book is worthy of that kind of buzz.

Yesterday's Tomorrow was published by OakTara and released in March 2011.


Catherine West said...

Thanks Michelle! So glad you enjoyed it!

B. J. Robinson said...

Sounds like an awesome read. I remember being a young teen, very young teen, during the war, and a friend of mine's older brother got drafted. We were all worried if he'd make it home alive, and he did, but so many of those young boys who were drafted didn't. I remember that, too. Blessings, BJ

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