The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Tamara Goodwin has always got everything she's ever wanted. Born into a family of wealth, she grew up in a mansion with its own private beach, a wardrobe full of designer clothes and all that a girl could ever wish for. She's always lived in the here and now, never giving a second thought to tomorrow. But then suddenly her dad is gone and life for Tamara and her mother changes forever. Left with a mountain of debt, they have no choice but to sell everything they own and move to the country. Nestled next to Kilsaney Castle, their gatehouse is a world away from Tamara's childhood. With her mother shut away with grief, and her aunt busy tending to her, Tamara is lonely and bored and longs to return to Dublin.When a travelling library passes through Kilsaney Demesne, Tamara is intrigued. Her eyes rest on a mysterious large leather bound tome locked with a gold clasp and padlock. What she discovers within the pages takes her breath away and shakes her world to its core
My Take: The mysteries of this story unraveled beautifully as the events unfolded. The author is incredibly gifted in succinctly handing out life nuggets while writing a story about a selfish little girl. She also uses symbolism to provide the reader with deeper meaning which gave me more to think about in the following days.
I enjoyed the concept of a diary that wrote itself for tomorrow. The protagonist, Tamera, decides to use the diary as a tool for making better decisions. She discovers that ultimately she is responsible for the consequences of her actions, which makes her more careful about her choices. This does not stop her from making mistakes but it does give her clues to the mysteries surrounding the castle, her aunt and uncle, her mother, her father, and herself.
My favorite character by far is Sister Ignatius. She was written to be old, wise, and of a good nature. Excellent comic relief.
I really wanted to like the protagonist better. But I didn't. She was supposed to be a rich and spoiled girl who lost everything which she was. She was also extremely crass (a lot of sex talk and "f" bombs) that didn't seem to add to the story. She grows throughout the book but not enough for me to really like her. Although I immensely enjoyed the first dialogue between Marcus and Tamera.
I must admit that the writing style is reminiscent of Kate Morton's "The Distant Hours" although in ways not as evident as it would seem. There's a castle, strange inhabitants (gatehouse for this book), secrets kept but it is the way the story is unfolded and particularly the way the authors provide life for inanimate things and places that I really enjoyed. In this book, the trees, forest, and castle live with the echos of those who have walked the way before.
Beautifully written. Some relationships I would have liked to have been better developed and I could have used a cleaner read for targeted audience but I liked it.