Published by Pamela Dorman Books on March 12, 2019
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I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
A private Mexican villa is the backdrop to this smart, absorbing story of a milestone vacation in a tropical paradise gone wrong, wrong, wrong.
Two families arrive in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, for a once-in-a-lifetime vacation. Jenna has organized the trip to celebrate her husband's fiftieth birthday--she's been looking forward to it for months. She's sure everything is going to be just perfect--and the margarita refills delivered by the house staff certainly don't hurt, either. What could go wrong?
Yet as the families settle into their vacation routines, their best friends suddenly seem like annoying strangers, and even Jenna's reliable husband, Peter, is sharing clandestine phone calls with someone--but who? Jenna's teenage daughter, Clem, is spending an awful lot of time with Malcolm, whose questionable rep got him expelled from school. Jenna's dream of the ultimate celebration begins to crack and eventually crumbles completely, leaving her wondering whom she can trust, and whether her privileged life is about to be changed forever.
Readers of Emma Straub, Meg Wolitzer and Delia Ephron will love this sharply funny novel. Whether you're putting it in your carry-on to read on the beach or looking to escape the dead-of-winter blues, Tomorrow There Will Be Sun is the perfect companion.
Once in a while, I get in the mood for something far outside my usual reading habits. This general fiction piece about two families of friends sharing a vacation villa in Puerta Vallarta and showcases that a truly horrid vacation story might be the one you never tell and never leaves you the same.
Jenna is the narrator of this story and she turns out to be an everyday, average middle-aged woman who has a penchant for needing control over everything, lots of worrying, and a confidence of being settled and satisfied in her life. Okay, so she wished her husband, Peter, would be a little more assertive when it came to Solly getting his way and she wished she had a closer relationship with her daughter in the form of friendship, but nothing really beyond what she could handle in all that. Unlike one of her good friend’s, Solly’s first wife, her husband isn’t planning to leave her for a younger model and her daughter wasn’t caught dealing drugs in school.
Yep, anyone can tell that poor Jenna, who has her faults though not dastardly ones, is being set up and this vacation trip is when it all starts to unravel.
The blurb might make this sound like a thriller or that it might be a humorous comedy of vacation errors. Um, no, not even. Don’t get me wrong, there are a couple funny bits and there some real excitement happening that reminds me why I’ve shied away from this sort of vacation. The exciting stuff comes late and ends up in the background of what starts to happen in Jenna’s personal life. That, my friends, is where the tension and crisis hits.
The reader goes through a long set up, getting to know the characters as the vacation gets rolling, and a lot of a middle-aged woman’s introspection to get there. I won’t say its boring since the author writes in a way that kept me reading. I wasn’t exactly bored, but I wasn’t riveted, either, and I did get impatient. I was only so-so about Jenna or any of the characters for that matter. They’re just… people. Nothing extraordinary. That is their appeal, but also not something that will keep ones interest indefinitely, as a result.
I think the part that struck me and probably will make this story stay in my mind longer than I thought when I was reading it, was the choice for the ending. After all that came before it, the ending is open-ended though the reader can make an educated guess what will come after. Jenna has to decide what she wants to do with what she now knows about herself and about the others.
So, this was gently-paced, mostly introspective story of a middle-aged woman who goes on vacation thinking one thing about her life and comes back quite different. An easy read with sunny setting turned out to be an engaging fiction that I can recommend to those who reach for slow and easy character-driven books.
My thanks to Pamela Dorman/Viking for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.