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A Thousand Tomorrows

ISBN: 0446529672

By Karen Kingsbury
Review by: Mary Keith Trawick

07/06

Karen Kingsbury is an inspirational writer. And in her book, A Thousand Tomorrows, she writes about the power of love to overcome adversity. From start to finish the book is about struggle and how the characters choose to deal with difficulties in their life.

The story revolves around two characters, Cody Gunner and Ali Daniels, who both make their living on the rodeo circuit. Kingsbury begins the book with the story of Cody’s parents. His parents are introduced as a young couple getting married just out of high school with their whole future ahead of them. Cody’s father, a star football player and his mother fresh out of high school both feel like they couldn’t ask for anything more out of life. In less than a year, Cody unexpectedly comes along and although the child changes their plans, they are happy. A few years later they are expecting yet another child and this time, Carl Joseph is born. Shortly after Carl Joseph’s birth they discover he has Down’s syndrome. The strain of caring for young Carl Joseph is too much on Cody’s father and he decides to leave the marriage and his family to start a new life elsewhere. Cody forms a bound with his brother after his father abandons them and takes him under his wing. His father’s leaving and the way his brother is treated puts fuel in the fire for Cody to begin bull riding. Bull riding is the only place Cody feels he can release the anger that has built up inside of him. Kingsbury rushes the reader through the first critical part of the story and fails to draw the reader into the believability of the story. The anger Cody feels toward his father is what he uses to ride bulls, but because the story is rushed, the foundation is weak. The reader never fully relates to the anger Cody feels and holds onto for so long.

While riding bulls, Cody meets Ali Daniels who rides her horse Ace to beat back her own trials in life including the sadness she feels for her sister, Anna who died before she was able to fully realize her riding dreams. Ali is battling Cystic Fibrosis, a disease that forces her to overcome incredible pain to race. This struggle only seems to spur her on more. Ali and Cody eventually become friends and lovers. They help each other with the burdens they carry. In the end Cody learns that the love he and Ali share will help him overcome the sorrow and anger he feels. Cody discovers that their love will live on for “a thousand tomorrows.”

By putting too many ideas into a short novel, Kingsbury takes the reality out of the book and the lesson shown is hard to transfer to real life. A Thousand Tomorrows is a predictable story that would have been better told with a few curve balls and fewer ingredients.

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