Tonight is Already Tomorrow

Written by Clarissa Botsford (trans.) Lia Levi
Review by Anne Leighton

Genoa, 1938. Mussolini’s new racial laws are deporting Jews. The Rimon family—Marc, Emilia, and their precocious son Alessandro—is faced with a dilemma: leave Italy and their extended family, or escape to England on Marc’s British passport. When Britain enters the war, Marc is interned as an enemy alien and sent to a remote village in the north, far from Genoa. As non-practicing Jews, the Rimons had hoped to escape deportation, but Mussolini’s noose tightens. Friends begin to disappear, and the stringent laws soon make everyday life impossible.

They realize they must leave Genoa. The only possession which Alessandro takes is the Star of David pendant which his grandmother had given him to remind him of his Jewish heritage. Eventually, they reach the isolated village near the Swiss border where Marc is kept. They hope to live there in safety, but as German troops arrive nearby, they hastily begin the arduous trip to Switzerland. Ironically it is the faith they have rejected which saves them.

Based on a true story, the book is engrossing and a must-read for anyone interested in World War II history as well as the history of the Shoah. Levi has a deft hand with characterization and ably creates drama in the scenes at the Swiss border. It is also a moving account of a precocious boy’s coming-of-age in a time of turmoil. The epilogue detailing the real-life story behind the book is riveting and provides a fascinating background for the book.