I stopped reading my e-mail as soon as I saw the title of the book, If Tomorrow Never Comes. As a country music fan, Garth Brooks' hit instantly came to mind and I could only imagine at this point how Schalesky could be passing along the same lesson to readers of her newest Christian Fiction novel, that Garth Brooks passed along to his avid fans!
If Tomorrow Never Comes.
After meeting on the beach as young children, you could say, in every since of the phrase, Kinna and Jimmy truly are childhood sweethearts. However, throughout their years of marriage they have endured more than their share of trials and tribulations - Jimmy dealing with the aftermath of losing his mother at a young age, his father's alcoholism and lifestyle which ultimately lands him in jail and Kinna trying to live up to the expectations of her Pastor father while still trying to find her way in the world.
The challenges they have faced do not end there though. Since a young girl, the only thing Kinna has really wanted in life is children. However, after a dozen years of trying, she's deemed barren, a fate she can't quite come to terms with and refuses to give up hope. Her inability to accept a childless life pushes Jimmy to the edge causing him to feel like a failure, as he isn't able to provide his wife with what she wants most in life. The infertility struggle that Kinna and Jimmy face leads to Kinna and Jimmy both becoming someone not true to themselves and leading to both being fired from their respective jobs.
As the story progresses and we see what Kinna and Jimmy are up against, we are given constant reminders... What If Tomorrow Never Comes? Could we live with ourselves and how we lived today? Fate (in the face of an elderly woman, Thea, who Kinna rescues from the sea) steps in and helps Jimmy and Kinna remember how they made each other feel back in the days of fairytales and sand castles, forcing them to consider how their lives will be lived tomorrow based on the actions of today.
The story truly was incredible! It made me realize that when times seem desperate I need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture - when you feel like giving up, you have to step back and look at what's most important in your life at that time, all that you do have right in front of you and live for that, because you truly never do know what tomorrow will bring. On that note, I'm going to share with you a little bit about my personal life, so you can see how much this story really did touch me!
For almost seven years now, my grandmother has been living with the family. When she moved in I was a freshman in college, heading down the path to reaching my dream - becoming an elementary school teacher. After my grandfather passed away in 1995, she never really overcame her grief and moved in with an aunt, not wanting to be on her for the first time in her life. Well, my aunt passed away in May of 2002, and Grandma moved in here. It was a very challenging time for the family as for the past 7 years we have very limited contact with her (approximately 5 hours of visitation per year). Since moving in with us, her health has gone downhill (I believe mostly in part due to her lack of interest in life). After breaking her hip (the replacement surgery went perfectly, but she has it drilled in the back of her mind that she can no longer stand up, let alone walk) in October 2007, my mother and I have given up basically everything to keep her here with us, where she desperately wants to be (bathing her, preparing her meals, doing her laundry, etc.), despite her being a difficult patient, to say the least!
Throughout all of this, I have worked to earn a Bachelor's Degree in Childhood Education, a Master's Degree in Childhood Literacy, three teaching certificates and three years of substitute teaching. However, I have been unable to land a job. I often ask myself what I've done so wrong in my life that I can't get a job and have things go my way for once. It's very hard to be here, taking care of my grandma when she she's no longer able to even express herself to me when I so desperately want to be out starting my career. I have good days and bad, dealing with all of this, but I try to remain positive and remind myself that looking back on it someday, I'll be thankful that I wasn't able to land that teaching job and was able to stay here with my grandma when she needed me the most, but for the time being, I do, occasionally, need some reminders! If Tomorrow Never Comes did a great job reminding me that I need to embrace what I have and to live for today, with as a few regrets as possible.
Okay, so now that you've read patiently through my rambling... Kelly Blewett, Schalesky's publicist for If Tomorrow Never Comes sent me an extra copy of the book to pass along to one lucky reader! All you have to do to stand a chance at getting your hands on this tremendously written story is leave a comment on this post by 12:00 midnight, Eastern-Standard Time on Friday, March 27!
If you're interested in finding out more information about any of the books reviewed or if you'd like to purchase the books, click the cover image for a link to Amazon.com.