For readers who have wondered about the glamorous rock and roll lifestyle of a touring road crew, and perhaps imagined traveling the world in the company of pop stars and celebrities, Tavi Taylor Black’s WHERE ARE WE TOMORROW? will quickly dispel some of those fantasies. The story initially follows Alex Evans, the 36-year-old head electrician on the support team of the world-famous Chilean singer Sadie Estrada as they embark on the Home Remedy tour.
Alex is strong, independent, and highly capable, but has spent years and years of her professional life fighting for respect in a male-dominated environment. The demands of the job mean that she has also made sacrifices in her personal life too. She’s not alone either – we soon meet the supporting cast of Lilly, Sadie’s long-suffering assistant, Brooke, a tour production assistant dreaming of bigger things, and Kat, the blunt guitar tech whose not afraid to speak her mind. All four women, in their own ways, are struggling under the strains of their tyrannical boss and dysfunctional environment. Alex’s life starts to change when she meets Connor, an older man with a complicated past of his own, and gets pregnant. Tragically she miscarries, a heartbreaking event that’s captured in a truly gripping way. In the aftermath of that harrowing experience, a workplace accident forces Sadie to postpone her tour and leads to the four women, led by Alex, fleeing to the countryside of Tuscany for a much-needed break. Here Alex reconnects with some long-lost childhood friends, and uncovers some deep and dark family secrets that force her to reevaluate her life and what she wants out of it.
At its heart, WHERE ARE WE TOMORROW? is an engaging story that explores themes of femininity and womanhood, gender roles, family, and ambition. The plot itself is relatively straightforward, but there’s some wonderfully lyrical and evocative writing throughout. Take this passage as Alex and her friends detour on their way to their rental home in Tuscany to take in the local springs: “The voices of other bathers rolled over her. She sank her head down into the pool of warmth until water rushed into her ear canals, filling her head with a stopped-up sound. So dissimilar from being submerged under a spirit of weight and obligation. Lily dunked her whole head, pretended this was a holy dip. When her air was almost gone, she resurfaced and took a deep breath. In the distance, a baby cried, a sound Lily thought she might have imagined.” It’s a slow burning affair, albeit one that comes in at under 250 pages, but the story never stalls. The characters of Brooke, Kat, and to a certain extent Lily, might feel underdeveloped to some as the plot shifts to focus on Alex in the book’s second half, but in truth Alex’s is the strongest narrative strand and this allows her story to breathe, and march towards its intriguing conclusion. Taylor Black’s own experiences touring with rock bands adds a real authenticity to proceedings, while her sharp writing draws you into the characters and their lives.
Tavi Taylor Black’s WHERE ARE WE TOMORROW? weaves an intriguing story of four women who, under varying levels of pressure from their jobs working for a famous pop star, escape to the beautiful Italian countryside to discover what it is that is truly important to them.
~Joseph Sharratt for Indie Reader