“How the same story could be told in an infinite number of ways. That was the magic.” Emma Straub’s This Time Tomorrow offers the readers a quintessential Emma Straub twist but in the traditional time travel plots, along with a different type of love story. The excellence of her writing, the wry tone, and the keen nature of the main character’s thoughts will naturally pull you into her universe and you will find yourself entirely accepting the notion of This Time Tomorrow.
It is New Yorker Alice’s 40th birthday and her life is not terrible. She loves her job even though this is not the job she was particularly looking for. She is content with her independence, romantic status, apartment, and her lifelong best friend. However, her 73-year-old father Leonard is ailing, and Alice feels like something in her life is missing. Alice tries to visit her father whenever she can. Leonard is going to die soon and this makes Alice reflect on her life, the things she has achieved, and the things she did not. On her birthday, Alice meets her long-time best friend Sam, and she gets drunk.
When she wakes up the next day, she realizes that she is in the year 1996. She is reliving her 16th birthday. Although it is not her adolescent physique or high school crush that shocks her, it is her father. She again meets her 40-something-year-old father, all vital and charming. Leonard is a novelist. He earned money through writing profitable and popular science fiction novels about two time-travelling brothers. The book also ended up as a television series. Alice has the opportunity to ask him questions and hear his stories. Alice also gets familiar with her forgotten school friends. Emma Straub is successful in making the readers nostalgic about the culture, film stars, and celebrities of the 1990s.
Alice now has a chance to see her father in a new light, a man who is not going to die tomorrow. Will any changes will be better for Alice and Leonard’s future? Alice gets familiar with numerous versions of herself, but which one resonates the most?
Straub paints an appealing portrait of a father-daughter bond, of companionship, of life, and its glee, love, failure, sorrow, and confronts. The fleeting nature of life is unavoidable, approaching the need to physically appreciate loved ones in the here and now. Alice gets a second opportunity to do this through the travel time, intensifying her perception and awareness of her father Leonard. Can you imagine what would be like to meet your mum or dad back again when they are just about starting to get a bit old? How fascinating would it be to know them during their happiness and sadness? This is a splendidly engaging, optimistic, and captivating read that I think many readers will get pleasure from. This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub is one of the best novels of the time travel trope of this year.