I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Reading this book was an exhausting journey, and I’m not sure how to write a review. There was something painfully beautiful about Cal and Eileen’s romance, and his book put me through the emotional wringer.
I honestly never intended to read this book. My “to read” shelf is full, and I didn’t think I would have the time. Then, while I was setting up for an interview I am doing with the author on my blog, I read the synopsis for Tomorrow is a Long Time again, and I immediately asked her to let me read it.”To read” Shelf be darned! I had to read this book!
I grew up watching a ton of old movies so the idea of a young woman falling in love with a man who was a movie star in the 60s intrigued me. I had never heard of a book like this, and had high hopes that it would be a one of a kind read, and I was right.
Saying that Cal and Eileen’s story was a tragedy would be misleading. Eileen is beautiful a 23-year-old violinist, and Cal is a weathered 84-year-old movie star. Eileen has loved Cal ever since she was five and saw him star in a movie for the first time. While Eileen is performing at this fancy event, she runs into Cal, and finds out that he is also a fan of hers. They connect right away, and know that they are soul mates. I am not going to pretend like it wasn’t awkward reading about these two people kissing after knowing each other for a day. I wish I was more open-minded than that, but I just kept thinking about the age difference. Cal thought about it too because he basically tells Eileen that she is too young to be tied down to him and his complicated life, and leaves her.
Even though they just spent one day together, it is obvious that they belong together and just have the misfortune of being born in the wrong decades. Fast forward a few months and Cal ask Eileen to take part in an experiment that will allow her to enter his memories and help rewrite his past. It would take too long to go into the details of the experiment, but it is explained well in the book. Basically Eileen will be able to live out an entire lifetime with Cal in a dream
I loved that this story wasn’t filled with a lot of mysteries. We learn from the very first chapter that the experiment is going to work. Not only will Eileen be able to enter Cal’s memories, but they will have a wonderfully happy life together. It was a perfect choice to remove all of the guess work for the reader, and allow us to just experience the journey. This was a looooooong book, but I was so invested in the story that I read it in two days, and found myself rushing to get back to it when I had to put it down.
Even though I knew that Cal and Eileen would be happy, there was never a dull moment because that happiness did not come easily, and I knew it would not last forever. This was after all just a very vivid dream that they would have to wake from eventually. Their love story was tragic and happy all at the same time.
The characters of Cal and Eileen were terrific. Eileen could be selfish at times, and I thought that her love for Cal was unhealthy in the beginning. But when I really got to experience them together later in the book, I got why she was obsessed. They had an epic love story that was made for a movie screen. I had moments when I hated Cal for what he put her through, but I got why she kept coming back for more. This was not a case of a woman who would take abuse from him because she was always willing to leave, but he was also willing to fight to become a man who was worthy of her love. Yes, he made horrible mistakes, but he also learned how to fix them. The man that he became was worth putting up with all the crap he put her through. In fact, she earned a man like that after all he put her through.
I wish that things had ended on a happier note for Eileen, but that is just who I am. I like for people to be in a good place when I finish a book. There is no doubt that both Eileen and Cal were happy when the story ended, but I wanted more. When a book is this good, I always want more!
There was also a wonderful side story that involved characters in one of Cal’s movies. This story was just as beautiful and even more tragic than Cal and Eileen’s. I thought for sure that I was going to be bored when they switched to the movie, but I was just as invested in Jim and Gracie. The writer also made sure to remove any mystery from their story. I knew it wouldn’t end well for them, but their love was so powerful that I didn’t care.
Reading this was like watching one of those old movies I grew up loving. The passion was raw and tender at the same time. This is romance that will draw in the reader and take them on a journey they will never forget. I love stories that tie everything up in a nice tidy bow. “And they lived happily ever after” is one of my favorite sentences. But reducing what Cal and Eileen (and even Jim and Gracie) had together to a simplistically happy ended would not have been fair to them.
I read a lot, some books make an impact and others don’t. When you read for entertainment, you are going to forget a lot of books you have read. However, This book will stay with me for a long time, it might even stay with me forever. I don’t think I will be able to forget Cal and Eileen’s love, and I know I don’t want to. Cal and Eileen were lucky enough to live two entire lifetimes and know and love each other in both. If you like well written romantic books and don’t mind an emotional roller coaster, do yourself a favor and read this.
Because of language, violence, and sexual content, I would recommend this for ages 17 and up.