Tom fell in love with Alice the moment he saw her. He realises that being with her will not be easy, but she is a force of nature, a burst of sunlight in his otherwise ordinary world.
Some people might look at Alice and think she has everything, but Alice knows she is not like other women. Her life is complicated, unpredictable, difficult. Alice does not like pity. All she wants to do, has ever wanted to do, is sing.
Alice has been told not to follow her dreams. So has Tom. But when fate has already dealt a tough hand, it’s time to stop listening to everyone else and only follow their hearts.
What does TWG think?
This is by far the hardest review that I have written, to date. If you aren’t aware already, A Song for Tomorrow is inspired by the real life story, and journey, of UK-based singer and songwriter, Alice Martineau. Alice Martineau was born with cystic fibrosis, a genetic condition which causes the sufferers lungs to become clogged with mucus (and many, many other symptoms). Because cystic fibrosis is a progressive illness (gets worse over time), life expectancy can be, unfortunately, a lot shorter than average.
A Song for Tomorrow follows the journey of Alice, a cystic fibrosis sufferer from the moment that she was born. From the outside, Alice is deemed ‘well’ and ‘able bodied’, but she is far from ‘well’. One night, Alice managed to attract a man’s attention without even realising it. Spellbound by her beauty, Tom knew that he would never, ever, be able to forget ‘the girl from the gallery’.
Even though this book is inspired by a true story, the characters personality and actions are fictitious; but the journey of a sufferer isn’t. At the beginning of the storyline, we learn about the steps Alice has to take to keep the harsh comments at bay. You’re probably thinking ‘what harsh comments?’, yes? The thing is, Alice has an invisible illness; she cannot rush up and down the stairs due to her lungs so to save the huffing and puffing from not-so-polite people, Alice had to make her invisible illness….visible. When I read that part of the book, my heart nose dived and I froze mid-paragraph; why on earth SHOULD invisible illness sufferers be made to feel that way? Just like the author of this novel, Alice Peterson; I have an invisible illness, well 7 illnesses, and to see that ignorance in black and white really hit home. I’m also hoping it hits home to everyone else too.
Before I read ‘A Song for Tomorrow’, I had only heard of cystic fibrosis and I was completely clueless about the illness. I felt as though my eyes were opening wider and wider, with every sentence that I read as I had no idea of the heartache behind such a devastating illness. Alice Peterson took an inspirational true story and created a character who, despite having death looming over her head, is more kick ass than ALL of the Marvel superheroes. Alice’s determination, strength and focus on achieving her dreams was absolutely breath-taking to read. She had a dream, she knew the possibility of achieving that dream was slim yet she knew that if she didn’t go for it now, it could be too late. Such an inspiring and courageous main character, inspired by a truly courageous young woman.
I’m not going to lie, the storyline isn’t all rainbows and head stuck in the clouds, hiding from the inevitable, no. The storyline has a lot of gritty, raw and dark moments which highlights the heart wrenching situations that a cystic fibrosis sufferer faces daily. They’re REAL moments, real heartache; and a real eye opener.
I am absolutely flabbergasted by Alice Peterson’s outstanding portrayal of such an emotional, real life story. I wish I could put into words exactly how much this book moved me, but I know that none of my words would be the right ones. Why? Because there aren’t enough perfect words to say that the storyline is heart breakingly beautiful. Yes, my heart did break reading this for multiple reasons, some personal and some not.
But nothing, NOTHING can hide the fact that Alice Peterson has written a book which, in my eyes, is deserving of such poignant accolades in the industry. Her deliverance of a topic which needs to be spoken about yet seen as ‘taboo’, was sensitively written yet undeniably raw and powerful. Alice Peterson has kept Alice Martineau’s memory alive through the life of ‘Alice’; I am in awe of this incredible author.
A Song for Tomorrow is an emotional, heartbreaking novel which has been written absolutely beautifully. It is a novel which will have you giggling one moment, then sobbing your heart out the next. It is a novel which highlights the power behind true friendships, true love and learning to believe in yourself. It is also a novel that has put invisible illnesses (cystic fibrosis) on the table and laid them bare, reminding people who just because you cannot see IT, it doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
I will never, ever forget this book or the emotion that poured out of my eyes whilst reading it.
An extraordinary story of hope; as long as you have A Song for Tomorrow.
Huge thanks to Simon & Schuster and Team Books and the City.
To find out more about Alice Martineau’s story which inspired Alice Peterson to write this novel, go to: About Alice Martineau.
If you wish to listen to Alice’s music from her debut album, Daydreams, click HERE!
About the author.
Alice Peterson writes contemporary fiction with humour and compassion. Her novels always have the feel good factor, but she also aims to take the reader to a darker place where characters have to overcome adversity. This is partly due to Alice’s own life experience of living with Rheumatoid Arthritis, which she wrote about in her memoir Another Alice. She has written four novels: Monday to Friday Man, which has sold over 500,000 copies across all editions, Ten Years On, By My Side and One Step Closer to You, which won the Festival of Romance’s Best Romantic Read 2014.