The Bookworm Sez: Loyalty spans centuries in ‘Tomorrow’

The Bookworm Sez: Loyalty spans centuries in ‘Tomorrow’

You have a little shadow.

All day long, wherever you go, your dog is right beside you. He goes from bedroom to kitchen, to the garage, to the TV; if you’re there, so is he. He follows you everywhere – as in the new novel, “Tomorrow” by Damian Dibben (c.2018, Hanover Square Press, $26.99, 335 pages), he’d even follow you through the centuries.

His master told him to wait by the cathedral steps.

And so he did, for two hundred twenty-five years, since they day they were separated by a crowd inside that stone building. He even slept nearby, waiting, in case there was one molecule of smell from the man he loved – but there was nothing.

Once, they lived in a palace and life was an adventure.

His master had been a chemyst who could cure anything and his potions were known throughout the land, but few noticed that he never aged. Indeed, because of a powder his master created and the crescent-shaped belly scar they shared, they’d seen many centuries together, good times and bad, love, pain, and death. He thought about those times as he waited on the cathedral steps, until the day he caught a scent that made him think his master was near.

He wasn’t.

Instead, it was the man named Vilder, a colleague of his master’s who’d caused much anguish. He was never sure if Vilder was benign or cruel, threatening or cajoling; Vilder interested him, and frightened him, both. He’d seen Vilder tender with his lover, a soldier; and he’d seen Vilder in a rage. He’d smelled danger then.

He smelled it again now, and though he had friends in the city and he’d been told to wait, he had to follow their enemy. He had to see if Vilder might lead him to a reunion.

Vilder, as he knew, could be the last link to his master…

The very first thing you’ll notice, as you start “Tomorrow,” is how the dog-narrator’s voice sounds inside your head. It’s got strength and intelligence, it’s keenly emotional, and it’s there immediately.

From that surprising beginning, author Damian Dibben takes readers on a tour spanning more than two centuries in a dazzling story that’s rich with details. The language is perfect, the scenarios lend a whiff of magic, there’s chance to shed a tear or two, and the history is dead-on. It’s fantasy without being fantastical – and yet, that’s still not the main appeal of this book.

What will pull readers in and keep them there is the narrator himself, a dog whose name we don’t learn until the end of the tale. This is an animal you’ll wish were yours. You’ll think of your own pooch as you read this story of faithfulness and friendship, loss, hope and despair. You’ll understand its urgency, and you’ll turn pages like mad…

Alas, because of its dark fairy-tale tone, this book won’t appeal to everyone. Even so, if you loved Umberto Eco, James Owen, or tales of palace intrigue, war, and danger, you’ll love “Tomorrow,” without a shadow of a doubt.

The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer. Email her at bookwormsez@yahoo.com.

More in News

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Alaska Earthquake Center provides information on a 5.1 magnitude earthquake that struck at approximately 8:18 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. The quake struck approximately 17 miles southeast of Redoubt volcano or 41 miles southwest of Kenai, Alaska, at a depth of 72.8 miles. (Screenshot)
Quake near Redoubt shakes peninsula

The quake was centered 41 miles southwest of Kenai.

From left, John Walsh, John Skelton and Pat Broaders perform at the annual Winter Concert of Traditional Irish Music at Kenai Peninsula College in Kenai, Alaska, on Jan. 24, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
Irish musicians return to peninsula

John Walsh, Pat Broaders and Brenda Castles will perform Friday

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks with reporters during a news briefing on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, in Juneau, Alaska. Dunleavy said he doesn’t see his acceptance of former President Donald Trump’s endorsement as hurting his relationship with the state’s senior U.S. senator, Republican Lisa Murkowski, who voted to convict Trump at his impeachment trial last year and whom Trump has vowed to fight in her reelection bid. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer,File)
Dunleavy says work with Murkowski endures despite Trump nod

Trump last month praised Dunleavy and offered his endorsement, provided that Dunleavy does not endorse Murkowski

The Homer City Council asks Jan Keiser, Public Works Department director, questions about the Homer Green Infrastructure Management System during the Jan. 10, 2022, worksession. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Letting nature do what it does best

New green infrastructure project to solve drainage issues

Kenai Mayor Brian Gabriel and Kenai City Manager Paul Ostrander speak at the Kenai City Council meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Due to COVID spike, state funds to be used to cover city administrative leave

COVID cases are up 38% from last week, and have risen significantly since mid-December.

Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce is photographed at the Kenai Peninsula Clarion office in Kenai, Alaska, on Sept. 25, 2020. (Peninsula Clarion file)
Pierce joins race for governor

The borough mayor notified local officials in an email Thursday

Laura Dewey’s art is on display at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Art of the wild

New Kenai visitor center show features the vivid colors of nature

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, Jan.19, 2022, in Washington. In a rebuff to former President Donald Trump, the Supreme Court is allowing the release of presidential documents sought by the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)
Supreme Court allows Jan. 6 committee to get Trump docs

Following the high court’s action, there is no legal impediment to turning over the documents

Most Read