ACFW Book Club Review: Yesterday’s Tomorrow
Title: Yesterday’s Tomorrow
Author: Catherine West
Publisher: Oak Tara
Date: March 2011
Genre: Historical Romance
Reviewed by: Kathy Cretsinger
In August, the ACFW Bookclub will read two books. One of them is Yesterday’s Tomorrow by Catherine West. Join now to read this book with Kathy Cretsinger and other bookclub members.
This is an engaging book. I became an onlooker, hiding in the background.
Yesterday’s Tomorrow is an engaging book. The setting, the Vietnam War, 1967, feels accurate; the jungle and hospital scenes are described in such a way that I heard the children talking and felt the sweat running down my back. I became an onlooker, hiding in the background.
The characters, different from those in most books I’ve read, are developed with care and love. I immediately felt for Kristin Taylor, who loses her father in Vietnam. I felt her grief and understood her desire to follow in her father’s footsteps as a journalist—and I felt her fear when she enters a strange country. The courage Catherine West develops in her is outstanding, and her emotions are well written.
Luke Maddox is a man readers will love to hate in the beginning. His character is strong, almost too strong. But his love for Kristin is protective and one of deep affection, and his actions are believable. West describes well his experience as a POW in the Hanoi Hilton and doesn’t overdo the torture scenes.
Kristin’s experiences in Vietnam change her. She returns home different, which is the experience of so many who fought and worked in Vietnam during the conflict. It was interesting to see how West handled the changes in her characters. The thread of love between Luke and Kristin remains—even when they think they hate each other, their love seeps through.
Yesterday’s Tomorrow is well written with lots of descriptions of sights and smells, something many writers haven’t yet mastered. The events of the Vietnam War are accurate, and the flow kept me turning the pages. I hadn’t planned to read a novel set in Vietnam, mostly because I lived through it by watching it on the news each night. But I’m glad I read this one.