by Damian Dibben
Tomorrow is the story of a 217-year-old dog in search of his lost master. For 127 years he has waited in Venice, hoping every day for his master’s return. But he has waited in vain… until one day Tomorrow senses his presence and embarks on a journey to find him. As he strives to reunite with his master, danger lurks in the shadows, and he must reach his master before an old enemy, one who threatens to destroy everything Tomorrow holds dear.
I was pleasantly surprised by the maturity level in a story with a dog as the main character. My mother chose this book for me, and at first, reading a story through the eyes of a dog did not seem especially appealing. However, it turned out to be a poignant story that highlighted the deep bond between a dog and his master and clearly illustrated the loyalty of Tomorrow, who waited an incredible 127 years for his master and risked his life for the man he loved so much.
This book was also beautifully written. Dibben employed many literary techniques in his writing, including an abundance of metaphors and similes. It was his writing that made the story come alive, with his vivid descriptions bursting with color and his choice of adjectives, always well-suited to the scene at hand. Tomorrow was so well-written that I was able to see everything clearly in my mind’s eye.
The story alternates between the present and the past, giving the reader snippets of Tomorrow’s time with his master before he went missing, describing their many adventures together. The chapters about the past are written in past tense, while those about the present are written in present tense. The chapters spent on the past take the reader through several historical settings and events and reveal more about the interesting relationship between Tomorrow’s master and his enemy as well as how troubled his master was towards the end before he disappeared. These accounts help the reader understand more of the present story.
The ominous threat of an enemy creates a menacing atmosphere at times that makes the book a page-turner. I had trouble putting it down and read it every spare moment I had. Vilder, the enemy, is so consumed by his desire to find Tomorrow’s master that he employs every means possible to achieve his goal. Tomorrow, meanwhile, becomes ever more anxious for his master, afraid that something horrible has happened to him, and his urgency to find him increases with every passing day.
Sporco, another dog Tomorrow became friends with in the streets of Venice, is young and carefree, with a desire to see “the realms” as described to him by Tomorrow. He accompanies Tomorrow in his search for his master, although for Tomorrow, he is a rather unwanted addition. He is both irritating and likeable at once. At times he is simply an impediment to Tomorrow’s goal; at others he is so loyal to Tomorrow that one cannot help but feel endeared to him. I think he adds a welcome lightness to the story and also serves to reveal another part of Tomorrow’s character.
Tomorrow is a beautiful story and offers literary benefit. It does not contain strong language. As always, older readers could appreciate it more because of the complexity of the emotions experienced and the dynamics between the characters. There are also some descriptions of war that could be seen as disturbing to younger readers. I would highly recommend this book for young advanced readers as well as older, more mature readers, with some reservations for the younger readers.