There are as many reasons to write a book as there are books in print. Motivations for writing a book are unique to each and every author. Donna Mebane is no exception to the rule. She notes at the end of Tomorrow Comes:

I’m not a theologian, or a psychologist or a philosopher. I’m not even a writer. I’m just a mom who loves my kids and assumed, like every mom does, that they’d be a part of my life for all of my life.

That alas would not be true, Donna Mebane lost her daughter Emma aged just 19 in 2011. It was not a car wreck, it was not a drug overdose, it was not cancer, it was not a gun, Emma simply went to sleep and never woke up.

Tomorrow Comes is far from a dark book, it is a celebration of a young life and a peek into one possibility of what the ‘next life’ might be like.

It is clear that the Mebane Family are a close knit group and the untimely demise of Emma was a huge blow to them. Emma also had many friends, she was a likeable young lady who liked good people, and good people liked her.

I rather like the approach Donna Mebane has taken, it is a style that I am not sure that I have seen before. Part of the book is factual, the events, the aftermath, and how people reacted, or maybe it would be better to say interacted.

The other side of the story is told by Emma herself. Is she in heaven? That question is not answered, she is in ‘After’. After is remarkably similar to ‘Before’ but with some subtle differences. Back is her beloved dog Duke, her Aunt Pat, even her grandparents, but gone are her family and friends that still remain in the ‘Before’.

It does not take Emma long to discover that she can look down on the ‘before’, she can even read Facebook posts. She wonders if there is a way that in someway it would be possible to communicate from the ‘After’.

To share more of the story would be a huge disservice to Donna Mebane. I leave it up to the reader to make their own discoveries.

What I will say is that I am greatly impressed by Donna Mebane. Her writing is from the heart. Obviously Tomorrow Comes might be viewed as nothing more than a one off book. She grieved in print. But what is wrong with that? What greater tribute could there be than a book? A headstone in a cemetery is merely something that people walk by. A book on the other hand is a way that you get to meet the person.

I have to admit that Tomorrow Comes made me laugh and cry. My favorite reading spot is the front porch, I like the natural light, and watching the critters and birds doing their thing. I had just read the part of the book about the whole family going for a tattoo, Emma loved stars, the whole group of them wanted stars. I turned the page, and there was my own stick on tattoo.

Emma went from a story to real life.

I do hope that Donna Mebane will keep writing. She is damn fine at it.

You can get your copy of Tomorrow Comes from the Amazon link above.

Simon Barrett

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