A Thousand Tomorrows by Karen Kingsbury is the story of two rodeo riders. Cody is a champion bull rider, an angry man not looking past his next eight second bull ride. Ali is a champion barrel racer with a secret; she suffers from cystic fibrosis, a terminal lung disease.
I didn’t want to like this book. From the moment Ali’s disease is revealed, I knew how this was going to end, and I just didn’t want to go there. I like happily ever after and it wasn’t going to happen.
As Ali’s career reaches its height, so does the progression of her disease. Her dream of becoming national champion is dashed, just as it seems to be coming true. But she finds something even better, the love of a good man.
Cody is a good man, albeit an angry one. His beloved father walked out on his family one day leaving a prepubescent Cody literally standing on the corner watching him as he moved out of sight. The anger he felt at his father for leaving and his mother for “letting” it happen fuels his talent for bull riding. He too is at the top of his career when Ali’s disease leaves her unable to compete. He also discovers that he is a compatible match to help give her the lung transplant she needs to survive for a while longer.
Cody loves Ali enough to walk away from bull riding to help ensure neither injury or death can prevent him from giving her a lung. And, that love helps him let go of his anger and reunite with his family.
The title, A Thousand Tomorrows, refers to the three years of additional life that a lung transplant will give Ali, and the three years of additional love she and Cody can share. When the inevitable end does come, it is sad, but sweet.
I’m glad I hung in there to the end. While I didn’t get a happily ever after, I did get a love conquers all. And, that’s almost as good.