Jenny's Reviews > So Long, See You Tomorrow

So Long, See You Tomorrow by William Maxwell
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's review
Dec 30, 12

Read in June, 2012

"So Long, See You Tomorrow" is one of those books that makes me want to leave my job and hide myself away somewhere and do nothing but write until I can produce something as good as this. I agree with these reviewers:

"This is one of the great books of our age. It is the subtlest of miniatures that contains our deepest sorrows and truths and love -- all caught in a clear, simple style in perfect brushstrokes." -- Michael Ondaatje

"A small, perfect novel." -- Washington Post Book World

"What a lovely book, utterly unlike any other in shape I have ever read."

This book is an autobiographical novel, set in rural Illinois in the 1920s, that is built around the narrator's regret over having snubbed, as an adolescent, a childhood friend whose father committed a homicide. The story is about his reconstructed memory of this friendship and the events leading up to the murder. The novel explores, as the Washington Post notes, the "never trustworthy works-in-progress that are our remembered lives."

The book is suspenseful, as it takes the reader through the dramatic conflict that ends in violence and through the narrator's detective work as he attempts to piece together what happened. And it is structured in an innovative way that explores different points of view and angles on the story. The story is full of characters who are compromised, who make mistakes, who are sympathetic, and who collide into one another in a way that produces tragedy. I think what I most enjoyed about the novel was the wisdom and kindness with which Maxwell dives into the heart of the story. He does a great job of evoking characters' emotions and decisions with just the right image or analogy and in a clean, economical manner.

I would recommend this to anyone who loves good stories.
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