Is This Tomorrow

Written by Caroline Leavitt
Review by Hilary Daninhirsch

Single mother Ava Lark is doing everything she can to raise her son alone. In the 1950s in Waltham, Massachusetts, a divorced Jewish woman is not only a rarity, but is also a source of gossip and scrutiny. Ava offers only vague answers to her son Lewis’s questions as to why his father left them, a hole in his life that continually haunts him.

Lewis and the neighbors, Jimmy and his sister Rose, form an unbreakable bond as a trio of outcasts. Rose is secretly in love with Louis, though they are only 13 and 12, respectively, but Lewis is unaware of her feelings. One fateful day, Jimmy simply vanishes. Everyone is questioned, including all the men that Ava has dated in the past, but no one emerges as a suspect. Jimmy’s crush on Ava is uncovered, which gives the neighbors grounds to ostracize her further.

Eventually, life does go on, but Jimmy’s disappearance shakes those who were closest to him to the core. Neither Lewis nor Rose is ever able to let Jimmy go, and both continue to hold out hope that perhaps, he is still alive. When Jimmy’s fate is finally revealed, everyone has to readjust their versions of reality.

Caroline Leavitt is an amazingly skilled writer as she showcases her ability to delve deeply into her characters’ souls while still maintaining an atmosphere of suspense and historical accuracy. Themes of loneliness, the devastation of secrets, and the quest for love are interwoven throughout this beautifully rendered literary thriller.