This story is one for which some people will have to suspend their disbelief. And, if it didn’t happen to me, I would be one of those people.
So Tamara Goodwin begins the narration of her tale, which begins with the death of her father, leaving her and her mother penniless, forcing them to move to the country and live with her aunt and uncle. Rosaleen thinks cooking enough food for an army will solve their problems but is secretive, and Arthur speaks little and spends his days as groundskeeper of the nearby castle. Tamara’s mum is still grieving and sleeps most of the day, forcing Tamara to find ways to spend her time. When Tamara answers the door to a mobile library, she befriends the driver and discovers a locked book with no title or author.
Wandering the grounds of her temporary home, Tamara meets Sister Ignatius, one of four residents of a nearby convent. Though elderly, Sister Ignatius is vivacious and amused by Tamara, who is often sarcastic and rude. The sister helps Tamara break the diary open, but when Tamara first opens it up to write in it, she finds an entry in her own hand, telling of events that are yet to happen.
The Book of Tomorrow, now in paperback, is a great end-of-summer read, the type of book you can’t put down. Tamara uses the diary to help her figure out what’s going on with her mom, as well as unravel a mystery surrounding the castle and the resident of the bungalow across the street. Spoiled and feeling sorry for herself, Tamara is a bratty teenager but as she heals from her losses and learns to open up to those who are there for her, she slowly breaks down her protective armor and grows into a character you can root for.
Content notes: While The Book of Tomorrow is marketed as adult fiction, the protagonist is a teenager. Tamara’s father’s death, her mother’s depression and several other adult situations would cause me to recommend this book for high school and above. Tamara experiments with sex and her friends engage in some less than desirable behaviors that aren’t appropriate for younger readers.