Yesterday’s Tomorrow by Catherine West is a touching love story, played out against the backdrop of the Vietnam War.

When Kristin Taylor heads to Vietnam on her own in 1967 she has two goals. First, she’s is determined to be a top-notch journalist covering the war. Second, she’s looking for her brother, who was already serving in the military there. One of the first people she meets is Luke Taylor, who literally holds a gun in her face. Luke is a brilliant photographer, but moody and certainly has secrets. Sparks fly from the beginning, but they’ve got the usual battles going on. Neither wants to admit their feeling, each for their own reasons, but eventually they can’t resist the love growing between them, but the war provides an even bigger stumbling block.

First off, from reading the synopsis, I wouldn’t have realized that this was Christian fiction. For me, I don’t think it would have affected my decision to read it, but I know that a lot of folks like to know details like that up front. And, as such, there aren’t the hot sex scenes that it has the potential for. There are tender moments, but anything racy happens way off screen.  And faith is a major part of the story, although it rarely felt forced or preachy. I think for these characters, their questioning and relying on God made sense.

This one really sucked me in. West portrays Vietnam realistically, but without too much gore. I felt like I was there with Kristin, I loved the orphans, felt for the nurses, cried over the dead and injured men. And in the midst of all this chaos and violence, she and Luke find partners in each other. The banter between those two and their friend, Jonno, is spot on. They made me laugh, cry; they were real, at least in my head.

Kristin does come back to America and it slowed down a little bit at this point. Returning stateswide was tough on a lot of the men who served over there, I knew, but I had never really thought about how it would have affected the journalists, missionaries, photographers, and how they felt and were treated when they got home.

I’ll provide a slight spoiler, but since this is at heart a romance, I’m sure you already know it has a happy ending. I actually had to peek ahead to double-check though. It looked questionable at times, for a couple of reasons.

I loved this one. It has a richly developed setting and characters who I truly cared about, who I felt like I knew. I was laughing and sobbing, hoping and worrying along with them.

You can purchase Yesterday’s Tomorrow from Amazon.

4½ out of 5 stars

Category: Christian – Historical Romance

Published March 15, 2011 by OakTara
336 pages

Book source: Borrowed