Book Review: “Tomorrow is a Stranger” by Geoffrey Trease
“Yesterday is safe,
tomorrow’s full of danger,
Yesterday’s a face I know,
Tomorrow is a stranger.”
Guernsey, 1940: Just as Paul and Tessa are due to start school, the unthinkable happens – Germany invades Guernsey. The school is closed, most of their friends are evacuated, German soldiers patrol the streets. Suddenly, air raids, curfews and barbed wire bring the war frighteningly close. Paul and Tessa’s friendship develops with their shared experiences: the tragic news of the sudden disappearance of their pretty Austrian teacher, Rosa Goldschmidt; as secret mission after dark to collect a black market parcel. There are the everyday problems like food and clothing shortages, especially bitter for young people growing up into adulthood, mingled with real dangers and excitements such as producing an underground news-sheet.Yet unexpected moments of humour lighten the tension and make the hardships bearable.
“Tomorrow is a Stranger” is a fresh an perceptive look at how war affects the lives of two young teenagers.
Other characters: Slippery, Miss Grimbly, Oberleutnant Kurt Fischer, Copperknob, Sergeant-major Hermann Goering, Admiral Hüffmeier, George Gasson, Uncle Perry.
5/5 The poem in the front of the book has stayed with me all these years. It perfectly describes any war, but also this book. The next page might be full of danger and is still a stranger.
Words of wisdom/parts I liked in the book:
Paul: “Smoking. I don’t like them. He didn’t like that sort of argument either. When he wanted to smoke, he would. But not to kid himself he was a man.”
Tessa’s point of view of tomorrow:
“Tomorrow always came. You couldn’t stop it. But Tessa was wondering now how she could face tomorrow. It would be like opening the door to a frightening stranger. Perhaps, as in some paralysing nightmare, opening the door to a man with only a skull beneath his hat. A faceless stranger.”
Miss Grimbly’s words at the end:
“I wish I could have caught up with Mr Fischer, I wanted to tell him, it is not the man we hate, only the uniform”