Novel explores themes of nonromantic love in unique story


Knopf Publishing Group

“Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow” follows the relationship of two friends for over 40 years and uses ambitious timeline to its advantage.

Louis Auxenfans, News Editor

“Lovers are … common,” says protagonist Sadie Green, “because true collaborators in this life are rare.” The core theme of the power of platonic relationships pervades Gabrielle Zevin’s novel “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow.”

Can love between two people be so pure that it is not a romantic relationship, but rather a true partnership? Ms. Zevin seems to think so — and pulls it off.

Through the intricate, artistic world of video games, “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow” explores a relationship between two friends, from pre-adolescence to 40-year-old adults, who navigate fame, failure and tragedy while trying to understand the nature of their platonic love.

The two protagonists, Sam Masur and Sadie Green, first meet as 12-year-olds in a Los Angeles hospital while Sam recovers from surgeries after a horrific car accident and Sadie visits her sister being treated for cancer. They form a friendship over the video game Super Mario Bros, but Sam feels betrayed once he discovers that Sadie has used their friendship to fulfill community service hours for her bat mitzvah.

Years later, Sam and Sadie, now college students at Harvard and MIT, bump into each other at a subway station and reignite their friendship and love of video games. They form a video game company and release their first game, Ichigo, a breakout hit, but their relationship grows sour. Sadie becomes jealous of Sam because of his increasing share of public recognition, while Sam grows frustrated with Sadie over their conflicting creative visions.

The novel is beautifully structured to shift between the present and past, slowly peeling back the layers of Sam and Sadie’s complex backgrounds to illuminate their platonic relationship. Each section ends on a cliffhanger, leaving readers wanting more.

Video games play a key role in developing Sam and Sadie’s friendship. The intricate descriptive details of games immerse the reader into both the world of the games and the real world being depicted in the novel. In one section, the book becomes a story within a story as Ms. Zevin develops Sam and Sadie’s relationship through their experience playing an Oregon Trail-inspired game, “Pioneers.”

One setback of the book are the detailed sex scenes involving Sam and Sadie with their respective significant others, which are not necessary to advance the plot or character relationships and diminish the powerful story being told.

Whether you are a video game fanatic or have never picked up an Xbox controller, the engaging narrative structure and complex character relationships of “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow” will have you voraciously devouring each page.