Reviewed by Lisa J. Lickel
Yesterday's Tomorrow by Catherine West
"For readers who like thought-provoking, gritty, death-defying and fast-paced realism in their recent history entertainment, or for those who just want a taste of what it was like for people going through this devastating time in American history..."
I intended to take this book in chunks, but when I reached my first self-imposed
stopping point, I ignored it. Yesterday's Tomorrow is so compelling that
I had to keep turning pages. Delicious characters who live so fully that
they allow themselves to get filthy and face evil and temptation from friends
as well as obvious foes will make you remember them for a long time. Cathy's
story isn't about women's rights, although the late sixties in America
is a testing time. The character of Kristin isn't out to prove that a woman
can do a war-time correspondent job; she's out to prove that she has an
eye for a story like no one else. A chance meeting with international journalists
gives Kristin a roommate in Saigon; the roommate has a brother who's a
mysterious photo-journalist. Although Kristin has defied her mother and
her boss to go to Vietnam, she quickly grows up, finds the right connections
and the chance to write the story of a lifetime on the unspoken role of
the US government behind the scenes. Luke lives fast and recklessly, and
when he and Kristen are thrown together as a team for Life magazine, they
share secrets that bind them long after the war is over.
I remember all those messed-up soldiers coming home. I was in junior high and very impressionable, and lived through some pretty gruesome aftereffects in our neighborhood, including the stabbing of a neighbor's wife. As I read the book I wondered if Cathy had lived through the era, and found out later that she had researched well. The book is so complex in that Cathy touches on women's rights, racism, espionage, the fallout of war on orphans, temptation and the aftermath, besides a raw faith element. All of the beautiful ingredients create a rich and sensuously satisfying meal. She also has a great book trailer.
When I first received this book for review, I read the opening and part of the first chapter, then went to check out the author. I still have trouble believing that this is Cathy's debut novel. I read a lot of books for review and I rarely give raves, but this book is rave-worthy. For readers who like thought-provoking, gritty, death-defying and fast-paced realism in their recent history entertainment, or for those who just want a taste of what it was like for people going through this devastating time in American history, Yesterday's Tomorrow will satisfy you for the moment and stay with you long afterward.
Lisa Lickel lives in Wisconsin with her high school teacher husband in a 150-year-old Great Lakes ship captain's house. She is active in more than one historical society, belongs to writing and reading clubs and is the editor in chief of Creative Wisconsin, the magazine of Wisconsin Regional Writers. A graduate of the Christian Writer's Guild, she has written newspaper features and magazine articles, radio theater, and authored several inspirational novels. Find her online at http://lisalickel.com, http://wisconsinauthorreview.blogspot.com, http://reflectionsinhindsight.wordpress.com, and Facebook.