Rebecca Ascher-Walsh
September 25, 2007 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Paula Hook seems to have the proverbial perfect life: a loving husband of 25 years, healthy teenage twins, and a fulfilling job as an art dealer. But proverbially perfect is for fairy tales, while Graham Swift’s Tomorrow is an unflinchingly honest assessment of a marriage and family, told from Paula’s point of view the night before she divulges a secret that will change her children’s lives. What’s odd — and ultimately frustrating — is that the ”secret,” teased relentlessly throughout, carries less dramatic punch than a description of a sweet family outing at the beach. Clearly, the Booker Prize-winning author (Last Orders) isn’t destined to write thrillers. But his intuitive understanding of families is nevertheless compelling. B

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