I've been meaning to review A Song For Tomorrow by Alice Peterson for a little while now but while I hate to sound wanky I just couldn't because it all felt kind of raw. I'll start off by saying that it's based on the life of Alice Martineau, a singer who happened to have cystic fibrosis which is why I felt such a personal connection to the book. However it's also a bloody good read, maybe not my usual thing but I bought it on the day of release and practically devoured it.
It's been compared to The Fault In Our Stars and Me Before You but whilst the characters in that are annoying af Alice is not. I remember watching a documentary on her as a kid and I just thought she was so cool - wickedly funny and talented and I'm not just saying that either (I mean if she wasn't that fab a book wouldn't have been written about her no?) The book follows her journey as she tries to make it in the music biz and meets a lovely new fella Tom around the same time CF decides to be a major dick and she is placed on the list for a double lung transplant.
One thing I really appreciate about the book is that you can tell how closely the author worked with Alice's loved ones and also the CF Trust. I obviously can't speak for everyone but personally I thought it was the most accurate depiction of CF I've ever read by someone who doesn't actually have it. Not everyone gets it right (Bates Motel, Grey's Anatomy, Holby City I'm looking at you) but I think Peterson got it so right when she describes not just the physical effects but the emotional too. I related so much to Alice's worries about relationships, what other people think, holding others back and most crucially, not having enough time. That in particular is something people don't seem to understand, especially now I've had transplant. I get told off for being 'morbid' but I see it as being realistic and like Alice, prefer to use it to push for the things I want out of life. There was a quote in the book, I can't remember exactly what it said, but it was along the lines of CF forcing you to grow up from a young age but at the same time robs you of so much independence. SO ACCURATE. Alice's closeness with her family and yes, also her occasional frustration with them, was something I felt closely mirrors my own life too.
I found it to be a hard read, obviously now with these new puffers of mine I can breathe easy (lololol that was just for every other person with CF that wants to vom when they read that) and while I hadn't forgot what that drowning feeling feels like I guess I just hadn't thought about it for a while. As if I needed reminding, I kept thinking again how bloody lucky I am to have got my new lungs and my heart broke for Alice's family and friends. I think they're so brave to have helped this book become a possibility. I think it's a fitting tribute to Alice's extraordinary life.