March 15, 2011
From the publisher: Kristin Taylor wants to go to Vietnam to report on the war, and honor her father’s memory by becoming an award-winning journalist like he was, as well as to keep tabs on her brother who's in service. But no editor will send her. So she strikes out on her own and steps into a world more terrifying than she’d imagined. When she meets photographer Luke Maddox, Kristin knows she’s found a story. With war raging all around them, they engage in their own tumultuous battle of emotions and private agendas. Kristin is after a story that might get her the Pulitzer. Luke wants retribution from the enemy that took away his family. In the face of death, Kristin and Luke must decide if they’re willing to set aside selfish ambition for the love that seems to have ambushed them and captured their hearts.
My review: I intended to take this book in chunks, but when I reached my first self-imposed stopping point, I ignored it. Yesterday's Tomorrow is so compelling that I had to keep turning pages. Delicious characters who live so fully that they allow themselves to get filthy and face evil and temptation from friends as well as obvious foes will make you remember them for a long time. Cathy's story isn't about women's rights, although the late sixties in America is a testing time. The character of Kristin isn't out to prove that a woman can do a war-time correspondent job; she's out to prove that she has an eye for a story like no one else. A chance meeting with international journalists gives Kristin a roommate in Saigon; the roommate has a brother who's a mysterious photo-journalist. Although Kristin has defied her mother and her boss to go to Vietnam, she quickly grows up, finds the right connections and the chance to write the story of a lifetime on the unspoken role of the US government behind the scenes. Luke lives fast and recklessly, and when he and Kristen are thrown together as a team for Life magazine, they share secrets that bind them long after the war is over.
I remember all those messed-up soldiers coming home. I was in junior high and very impressionable, and lived through some pretty gruesome aftereffects in our neighborhood, including the stabbing of a neighbor's wife. As I read the book I wondered if Cathy had lived through the era, and found out later that she had researched well. The book is so complex in that Cathy touches on women's rights, racism, espionage, the fallout of war on orphans, temptation and the aftermath, besides a raw faith element. All of the beautiful ingredients create a rich and sensuously satisfying meal. She also has a great book trailer.
When I first received this book for review, I read the opening and part of the first chapter, then went to check out the author. I still have trouble believing that this is Cathy's debut novel. I read a lot of books for review and I rarely give raves, but this book is rave-worthy. For readers who like thought-provoking, gritty, death-defying and fast-paced realism in their recent history entertainment, or for those who just want a taste of what it was like for people going through this devastating time in American history, Yesterday's Tomorrow will satisfy you for the moment and stay with you long afterward.