Along a stretch of Hwy. 101 in California, a straggling collection of people linger in a diner, while the rains pound ruthlessly and the few customers are reluctant to breach the torrents of the outside world. A rain-drenched and soaked man enters, looking battered and beaten by much more than the rains….
Thus begins our story, and as the prologue reveals, life has changed dramatically for this man; we soon learn that his name is Daniel Whitman, and that horrific things have happened to him.
Flash back five months, and we see his life before. And what tragedy led Daniel to this place. We know before the story begins that his family is taken away from him: a wife and a son. What we learn now, slowly, is what his journey will look like now. And how he, inexplicably, or so it seemed to those he left behind, walked out of his life.
The Day After Yesterday is the tale of that journey, but it reveals much more: after the events of Daniel’s life following his tragedy, people and events reshape his life view and even his choices. And eventually he does go home, but everything is different.
The story alternates between Daniel’s journey and what happens to those he seemingly abandoned.
Then later, the story moves ahead and shows us what this newly reshaped life looks like. We meet new characters, we see miraculous events unfold…and in the end, we are left filled with a wide range of emotions.
At least that’s what I felt for the first 300 or so pages. But then the pace quickened and moved ahead years and suddenly it wasn’t just about Daniel anymore, but a metaphorical discovery of life and how we are pummeled by it at times…and how we can choose to let it batter us. Or we can accept it and move on.
A very philosophical story that had moments of sheer joy mixed with the darkest angst. The story took a lot out of me; and in the end, I knew I would think of it for a long while. My only issue with it was the pace and the pages and pages that felt unnecessary. However, they did skewer the point about life and how it gives us a beating sometimes. For me, however, this one earned four stars.