Starts Overall: 5/ 5
ChildFree Stars: 5/5
Genre: Fiction
More than anything else Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is an argument for a broader view of love. The question of “What is love?” and “What type of love matters the most” in one’s life, sits at the heart of this novel. Gabrielle Zevin does not flinch when writing what is ostensibly an argument that romantic and sexual love can pale in comparison to love that plays with our intellect, the shared love of figuring out puzzles together, and playing pretend.  It is a book that opens up conversations and frees people up to admit that sometimes there our things in our lives that we love more than our romantic partners, our domestic partners, and even our children. Because of the dialogue that Zevin creates, elevating different views of love and problematizing the most traditional lover and parent roles,  I give this book five starts for a childfree read.
In Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow we follow a cast of three friends - two taking the starring role of “main characters” Sadie and Sam. Sadie and Sam have a very special type of love for one another, one that is based not on liking each other, or even getting along, but instead on a deep love of playing together, and a shared passion for games.

Sam is what I would consider my favorite type of “ChildFree Character.” Which is a character who isn’t written around a Childfree identity at all, but is clearly and deeply Childfree. There is never a conversation about Sam having children, he does not worry about if he will have them, if he should have them, or when  he will have them. But the domestic part of Sam’s life isn’t hand waved away. We see him struggle with his emotions and vulnerability, we see him in domestic  partnerships. And we realistically see the many, many ways that Sam is a broken human. The thing that is broken about him just doesn’t have anything to do with wanting or not wanting children.

In the character of Sadie, we see a direct debate about having children or not and no-spoilers but there may even be a pro’s and con’s spreadsheet that makes an appearance. I had to think a lot about how I felt that the female character still had to be tied to this “kid-debate” and could have a storyline more similar to Sams. But, these characters are Gen X, and in the end I am glad that Zevin tackled this head on, because these are the real choices that women have to make, the real culture of pronatalism that women have always had to contend with, and I think writing this out of Sadie’s storyline complete would have felt disingenuous to the rest of the book, which is often an unflinching appraisal of the things that women have to endure to be successful in their fields - bad relationships, sexism commentary, and sometimes even outright abuse.
I love books that are about relationships, I love seeing characters crash into each other, break apart, grow, and come back together as changed people. This book does not disappoint. It also has what I considered to be the large bonuses of lots of nerdy commentary, sharp writing, and even ventures into some more experimental writing at times.
This is Zevin’s 8th novel, and she packed it full with lots of nods to her personal history. It takes place partially at Cambridge, MA where Zevin attended college. The scenes and sense of place are so through it is easy to imagine that this is simple Zevin recounting a story of old friends, or maybe imagining another life for herself.
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is a beautiful contemplation on love, on the choices we make and don’t make, and what it looks like to live a life knowing that there is no “reset” button. Its heartbreaking, contemplative, and most importantly is a good beginning to a lot of cultural conversation we all need to have.

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