A Song for Tomorrow by Alice Peterson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publishing Date: 9th February 2016
Source: Received from the publisher in return for an honest review!
Number of pages: 448
Genre: General Fiction (Adults)
Tom fell in love with Alice the moment he saw her. He realises that being with her will not be easy, but she is a force of nature, a burst of sunlight in his otherwise ordinary world.
Some people might look at Alice and think she has everything, but Alice knows she is not like other women. Her life is complicated, unpredictable, difficult. Alice does not like pity. All she wants to do, has ever wanted to do, is sing.
Alice has been told not to follow her dreams. So has Tom. But when fate has already dealt a tough hand, it’s time to stop listening to everyone else and only follow their own hearts.
NOTE: Guys, this is going to be a rather personal and long review. I know that some readers don’t like it so please feel forewarned.
I am a big fan of Alice Peterson and is I knew from the beginning that I am going to enjoy this story, as she has never disappointed me, but in fact I had no idea how much it’s going to affect me, how much it’s going to pull at my heart strings and how special this book is going to turn out.
This book. “A Song for Tomorrow”. What can I say? That everything changed for me after reading this book? That for sure I’m not going to read such a wonderful book ever again? That now I really know what a major book – hangover is? That life is a bitch? I love Alice Peterson and her stories but with this one she has exceeded herself on each level and let me tell you right at the beginning that it is this kind of book that you want to read for the first time over and over again. If I were to describe it in one word it would be BEAUTIFUL. It was like this with this book, guys: I loved it, I loved every single word of it but I also couldn’t wait to finish it, to know how it’s going to end – as it could really go many ways. The way Alice was full of hope till the very end broke my heart, and I myself couldn’t stop but hope for a miracle, for this triple transplant to go through.
“A Song for Tomorrow” is like no other story. Based on true story of Alice Martineau, a girl born with Cystic Fibrosis, whose biggest dream was to become a singer, telling how many obstacles she needed to conquer to make her dream come true. A poignant story about incredibly strong, stubborn girl who didn’t want to live limited life and who refused to be defined by her illness. A girl who wasn’t afraid to dream and to make the dreams come true. Story of a daughter, sister, friend, girlfriend who loved and was loved so much.
When I was somewhere around 30% done with the reading, I googled Alice Martineau and guys, when I saw her photos I couldn’t believe it, because she looked exactly as I have imagined her! I also looked for her songs and after hearing the first one I immediately went and ordered her CD – her voice is incredibly sweet and mature and the songs tell us so many stories! Thank you Alice Peterson for introducing Alice Martineau to my life. She has conquered so much in her life: her life expectancy was ten years when she was born and she lived till almost thirty. She proved she can live “normal” life with CF, she can work as a model, she can have friends, she can have a boyfriend, she can have sex and she can travel. There was so much warmth and optimism in her and you could very quickly feel a part of her life. She was for sure one of the most wonderful characters I’ve ever read about. To say that Alice was inspirational would be an understatement. She was much, much more than that. She reminded me of all the things important in life, how important it is to confront a difficulty, to live full, to never give up. Alice was jumping out of the pages! Her charisma, her humour were exceptional and I wasn’t surprised that people couldn’t say no to her, what with her gift of gab. She was determined to become a singer and when Alice wanted something, she did everything to achieve it. You can’t not love Alice. Actually, all characters in this book are just brilliant, and I loved all of them. Except for Ethan, of course. Alice’s friends, her anti – support group were adorable, her family was one and only. It must be a real luck to be surrounded by so many people who love you so much, and give this love back.
And to be honest, I feel ashamed. I feel ashamed in comparison to Alice Martineau and her spirit, her life motto “make every day count” and “never take anything for granted” and when I think how much of my life has already passed me by, how much happened without me and that I don’t have a dream in my life, that I am complaining because I have a headache, that perhaps I don’t enjoy life as much as I should. Don’t get me wrong, I am incredibly thankful for many things in my life, but it’s just that after reading such stories you start to think and the conclusions you come to are not always the most optimistic ones. I would love to have Alice’s spirit, to be as brave ( I know. I KNOW, the taboo word, forgive me Alice!) as she was.
We have some distant friends whose daughter has CF. She’s 7 years old now. They organize fundraisers and they collect money for CF research. They try to live normal life, however hard it is, and I think we can never imagine it. Alice Peterson, however, has showed us how difficult it is, she told us all the aspects of being ill, what does it involve and how much influence it has on all lives. I couldn’t stop admire Alice and her family, how they almost never lost their optimism, how they loved each other and supported each other, how they understood each other without words and how they tried to always find this something positive out of this serious situations. The relationship between Alice and her mum was beautiful! So full of love, partnership and understanding, and I could only admire Alice’s parents for being so strong. And there were many emotional, moving moments in this book but the ones that mostly brought tears to my eyes were the entries from Alice’s mum diary. They were written in a funny, light way and they showed how much strength were in this woman, but underneath you could easily spot how sad they were. The love story of Alice and Tom was one of the most beautiful I have ever read. Tom has fallen in love with Alice at first sight and even though he was scared, so scared to lose her, he was determined to be with her. Their love was beautiful, pure, genuine, but also not a bed of roses. All the feelings and emotions were SO GENUINE.
In the end I was a snotty, weepy mess. “A Song for Tomorrow” was the best example of how genius a writer Alice Peterson is – I can’t stop admiring how wonderfully and effortlessly she brings all the emotions to life, how she puts them into words and how she makes the reader laugh through tears. She is exceptionally good in writing heart – breaking and at the same time uplifting stories. I think that this book is Alice Peterson’s best book yet. She has never feared to write about touching, tricky issues, to bring things that make some lives unbearable but this time she’s really outdone herself. The way she has dealt with the subject is just indescribable, the story is full of compassion, understanding. If you think that this book is going to make you feel low than I can assure you that it won’t. If you think that this story is going to focus only on Alice’s disease than I can assure you it isn’t. Because it is also a story about the power of love, about unconditional love, about accepting and letting go. This book is a MUST READ. It is one of the most beautiful, captivating novels I have ever read. It is a book that you will never going to forget, I can bet. I can’t recommend it highly enough.