Tomorrow & Tomorrow & Tomorrow
Tomorrow and, Tomorrow and, Tomorrow’s book jacket describes a “love story you haven’t heard before”. This provocative welcome offers a fitting invitation to enter the page turning journey of Sadie, Sam and Marx – three super smart college students at MIT and Harvard, making their way in the gaming industry. The love story is new on many levels. The book is a heartfelt tribute to gamers, celebrating the depth and the art of the process of creating a meaningful video game. It is also a love triangle among three brilliant outsiders who struggle with their otherness and fold it into their craft.
Sadie is a gifted, determined, Jewish mathlete making her way in a man’s world where the gamers dominating the field often embody as much toxic masculinity as the characters in their games. Sadie’s grandmother is a holocaust survivor. Sam and Marx are both half Asian. In addition to being mixed race and estranged from his biological father, Sam has a chronically ailing foot that leaves him crippled and eventually amputated. Otherness and trauma are thematic threads that bind this gaming trio.
The book is also a love letter to artists – the title itself a Shakespeare reference alluding to the artistic elements necessary to create any truly great work of art including a meaningful video game.
What makes this love story most unusual (and somewhat heartbreaking) is its focus on what it means to be professionally in love as souldmate collaborators who do not consummate a romance, but rather engage in a relationship that lives and breathes in the creative realm rather than the romantic. What does it mean to make magnificent wholly original creative work as an authentic team. What is it like to love, live and breathe the work – without consummating a romantic path? Sadie and Sam meet and befriend one another while playing video games as children in a hospital game room. And Sadie’s somewhat OCD betrayal of Sam leads to a multi-year estrangement that is interrupted when they run into one another as college students in Boston. Gaming once again brings them together. Their collaboration lasts decades and includes all sorts of slights and pain points and highs and lows that mimic the arc of a married life.
The therapist in me can’t help but root for the romance, but the book’s captivating appeal challenges conventional psychological thinking about love, marriage, careers and relationships. Gabrielle Zevin successfully tells a flourishing, memorable love story that is a true original.