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This Time Tomorrow
Cover of This Time Tomorrow
This Time Tomorrow
A Novel
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#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER“The pages brim with tenderness and an appreciation for what we had and who we were. I could not have loved it more."—Ann Patchett “The kind of book that will...
#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER“The pages brim with tenderness and an appreciation for what we had and who we were. I could not have loved it more."—Ann Patchett “The kind of book that will...
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  • #1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER
    “The pages brim with tenderness and an appreciation for what we had and who we were. I could not have loved it more."—Ann Patchett

    “The kind of book that will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you call the people you love. Exceptional."—Emily Henry
    "Delightful"Boston Globe

    "Poignant"New York Times
    What if you could take a vacation to your past?


    With her celebrated humor, insight, and heart, beloved New York Times bestseller Emma Straub offers her own twist on traditional time travel tropes, and a different kind of love story.

                On the eve of her 40th birthday, Alice’s life isn’t terrible. She likes her job, even if it isn’t exactly the one she expected. She’s happy with her apartment, her romantic status, her independence, and she adores her lifelong best friend. But her father is ailing, and it feels to her as if something is missing. When she wakes up the next morning she finds herself back in 1996, reliving her 16th birthday. But it isn’t just her adolescent body that shocks her, or seeing her high school crush, it’s her dad:  the vital, charming, 40-something version of her father with whom she is reunited. Now armed with a new perspective on her own life and his, some past events take on new meaning. Is there anything that she would change if she could?

Excerpts-

  • From the cover

    1
     
    Time did not exist in the hospital. Like a Las Vegas casino, there were no clocks anywhere, and the harsh fluorescent lighting remained equally bright during the entire stretch of visiting hours. Alice had asked, once, if they turned off the lights at night, but the nurse didn't seem to hear, or maybe she thought it was a joke, but in either case, she didn't respond, and so Alice didn't know the answer. Her father, Leonard Stern, was still in his bed in the center of the room, attached to more lines and cords and bags and machines than Alice could count, and had hardly spoken for a week, and so he wasn't going to tell her, either, even if he did open his eyes again. Could he sense the difference? Alice thought about lying in the grass in Central Park in the summertime as a teenager, letting her closed eyelids feel the warmth of the sun, when she and her friends would stretch their bodies out on rumpled blankets, waiting for JFK Jr. to accidentally hit them with a Frisbee. These lights didn't feel like the sun. They were too bright, and too cold.
     
    Alice could visit on Saturdays and Sundays, and in the afternoon on Tuesdays and Thursdays, when her workday ended early enough that she could hop on the train and get to the hospital before visiting hours had ended. From her apartment in Brooklyn, the subway ride was an hour door-to-door, the 2/3 from Borough Hall to 96th Street, and then the local all the way to 168th Street, but from work, it was half an hour on the C train, a straight shot from 86th and Central Park West.
     
    Over the summer, Alice had been able to visit nearly every day, but since school had started, a few days a week was the best she could do. It felt like it had been decades since her father was still himself, when he looked more or less the way he had for Alice's whole life, smiling and wry, his beard still more brown than gray, but in reality, it had only been a month. He'd been on a different floor of the hospital then, in a room that felt more like an underdecorated hotel room than an operating theater, with a photograph of Mars that he'd torn out of the New York Times taped to the wall, alongside a photo of his ancient and powerful cat, Ursula. She wondered whether someone had taken those things and put them with the rest of his belongings—his wallet, his telephone, whatever actual clothing he'd been wearing when he checked in, the stack of paperback books he'd brought with him—or whether they'd been thrown away in one of the giant flip-top waste bins that lined the sterile hallways.
     
    When someone asked how her father was doing—Emily, who she shared a desk with in the admissions office; or Sam, her best friend from high school, who had three children, a husband, a house in Montclair, and a closet full of high heels to wear to her job at a terrifying law firm; or her boyfriend, Matt—Alice wished for an easy answer. The longer it went on, the more the question turned into an empty phrase, the way one might say How are you? to an acquaintance passing on the sidewalk and keep walking. There were no tumors to excise, no germs to fight. It was just that many neighborhoods of Leonard's body were falling apart in a great, unified chorus: his heart, his kidneys, his liver. Alice understood now, as she never truly had before, how the body was a Rube Goldberg machine, and every time one domino or lever got knocked sideways, the whole thing would stop. When the doctors poked their heads into the ICU, it was just the word failure, over and over again. They were all waiting for her father to die. It could be days or weeks or months, no one was quite able to...

Reviews-

  • Library Journal

    December 1, 2021

    Examining colonialism, art history, and greed, Jonasson's Sweet, Sweet Revenge LTD brings together Maasai warrior Ole Mbatian Jr.; Kevin, the young man he calls his son: and trod-upon Agneta, who joins forces with Kevin against an underhanded gallery owner with the help of a Stockholm company specializing in revenge services (originally scheduled for July 2021; 60,000-copy first printing). Successful realtors serving tourists at The Shore, Brian and Margot Dunne face a different kind of summer in Runde's debut; even as daughters Liz and Evy seek self-redefining experiences, the entire family struggles with the tragedy of Brian's brain tumor (125,000-copy first printing). In Straub's This Time Tomorrow, Alice is reasonably contented but wishes she were closer to her father, and she gets the chance at a remake when she wakes up one morning in 1996 as a 16-year-old. In Weiner's latest, when Veronica Levy bought The Summer Place on the Outer Cape, she imagined it staying in the family for generations. But with the family now dispersed, she gathers everyone together for one last blow-out summer until she sells it (350,000-copy first printing).

    Copyright 2021 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    March 1, 2022
    On her fortieth birthday, Alice overdoes it with her best friend and wakes up, in her teenage bedroom, on her sixteenth birthday in the mid-nineties. At first, this is unsettling, but then it's pretty cool. There's her author father, Leonard, dying in the present, and the cute guy she let get away then; the stalled-out career now, and the unbelievable youth--her father's especially--that she took for granted back. And while it costs her a day each time, she can go back over and over, making decisions in the past that alter her present both subtly and significantly. Her main focus? Setting Leonard on a path that doesn't end in the hospital in the today she started out with. Despite its sparkly time-travel concept (cleverly mirrored by Time Brothers, Leonard's sf novel that became a beloved 1980s TV show), this addictive and lovely novel is Straub's (All Adults Here, 2020) ""smallest"" so far, focusing ultimately on a single character and her most treasured relationship. Yet it contains no less of Straub's signature warmth and authenticity. Alice asks herself questions we all might, given the opportunity to enter a broom closet and exit as our former selves, and has trouble letting go of her newfound ability or knowing when she should.

    COPYRIGHT(2022) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 14, 2022
    Straub (All Adults Here) offers a delightful take on time travel involving a woman and her famous father. As it opens, Alice Stern, a week shy of 40, is visiting her gravely ill father, Leonard, author of a bestselling time-travel novel, in the hospital. Her parents divorced when she was six, and she has remained extremely close to her father ever since. She lives alone in the Brooklyn apartment she’s had since she was 25, dates a guy named Matt, and works in the admissions office at the prestigious high school she attended. When she hears about former classmate Tommy Joffey’s son applying to the school, she remembers how they were close until he had sex with another girl at Alice’s 16th birthday party. Then Matt proposes, and she breaks up with him. After a big night of drinks on her birthday, she sleeps in the guardhouse on her father’s property. When she wakes up, it’s her 16th birthday in 1996. As a 40-year-old presenting as a teen, she sets out to reverse her father’s fate as well as change what happens with Tommy. She also learns Leonard can time-travel, too, a twist that Straub skillfully exploits without letting things get confusing, and which enriches the impact of love and loss on the characters. Readers will be captivated. Agent: Claudia Ballard, WME. (May)Correction: An earlier version of this review misstated where the character Matt worked.

  • Kirkus

    May 1, 2022
    A woman who's been drifting through life wakes up the morning after her 40th birthday to discover that she's just turned 16 again. Alice Stern wouldn't say she's unhappy. She lives in a studio apartment in Brooklyn; has a job in the admissions office of the Upper West Side private school she attended as a kid; still hangs out with Sam, her childhood best friend; and has a great relationship with her father, Leonard, the famous author of a time-travel novel, Time Brothers. Alice's mother left her and Leonard when Alice was a kid, and father and daughter formed a tight, loving unit along with their freakishly long-lived cat, Ursula. But now Leonard is in a coma, and as she visits him in the hospital every day, Alice is forced to reckon with her life. After a drunken birthday evening with Sam, Alice returns to her childhood house on Pomander Walk, a one-block-long gated street running between two avenues on the UWS--but when she wakes up the next morning, she hears Leonard in the kitchen and finds herself heading off to SAT tutoring and preparing for her 16th birthday party that night. Straub's novel has echoes of Thornton Wilder's play Our Town: Every prosaic detail of her earlier life is almost unbearably poignant to Alice, and the chance to spend time with her father is priceless. As she moves through her day, she tries to figure out how to get back to her life as a 40-year-old and whether there's anything she can do in the past to improve her future--and save her father's life. As always, Straub creates characters who feel fully alive, exploring the subtleties of their thoughts, feelings, and relationships. It's hard to say more without giving away the delightful surprises of the book's second half, but be assured that Straub's time-travel shenanigans are up there with Kate Atkinson's Life After Life and the TV show Russian Doll. Combine Straub's usual warmth and insight with the fun of time travel and you have a winner.

    COPYRIGHT(2022) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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