Original Books

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

If Tomorrow Never Comes by Marlo Schalesky

Jimmy and Kinna met each other at a young age. They met almost every day on the beach to build sandcastles and to play in their imaginary world where their fathers could not try to control their lives. As they grew up, they grew closer and closer together. Jimmy was always there for Kinna when her dates stood her up. This eventually to turned into a lifelong relationship called marriage. When they were a young couple, they dreamed of having children and of buying a house on the beach. It was simple. But now twenty years have passed and Kinna is still barren. The two of them have grown apart so that they barely love each other anymore. But when Kinna rescues an old woman from the waves at the beach, things begin to change for Jimmy and Kinna. Things beyond their control start happening that force them to face the wrong choices they have made in their past in order to build a strong future.

I would say infertility plots are worn out and finished, but Marlo has showed us a new way. Perhaps not the best or most realistic way, but a different way nonetheless. But when one really thinks about this new way Marlo has invented, several things do not add up. Marlo tries to play Ted Dekker in this plot in a very non-Ted Dekker way. She is basically not being who she really is but is trying to be someone else, when she could just be herself and write another five star plot.

For starts, the characters, namely Jimmy and Kinna, are superb. Not only do they have complete personalities, but they also have imperfection. Marlo has proved the point that fewer characters equal good characters because the author has more time to give the characters personal attention. Besides Jimmy and Kinna, there are only three other characters really. Marlo has definitely not failed us in the character department.

As for the end of the book, it's just plain juvenile. It is based on the unrealistic time warping and therefore cannot be determined whether such a thing would really happen. As I said, why did Marlo have to abandon what she had going in Beyond the Night? It seems like she felt like she had to be different. This is not the kind of different we are looking for. This kind of different only leaves us scratching our heads. But besides the time warp issue, there is also one other unnecessary dramatic scene that puts a damper on the basically good body of the book. I don't know where Marlo left her originality while writing the end of this book or even how this made it past the editor. It also makes me wonder whether Marlo had any other good ideas besides Beyond the Night. But she can still redeem herself in the future by returning to her originality of old.

3 stars

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