How could you not love a book that opens in the midst of a first person narrated suicide and still manages to be funny? Bryan Rivers is a musician who is in the late stage of a suicide when we join him. It’s a hard opening to manage, but Gillan does it with ease, setting the black edged humour of the book perfectly. Though it would have been easy to turn the tortured, depressed musician into a cliché, the reader instead is treated to Bryan’s fumbling attempts to find a pen and piece of paper to write his wife, Claire, a farewell note. By this point in the story, Bryan is in the midst of overdose induced stomach cramps, and it isn’t an easy matter. But he wants to apologise to Claire. As he mentally recounts how he got to this point, it’s almost possible to follow him. In other words, though his almost accidental slide into suicide is a tragic waste, the reader immediately begins to like him and mourn his passing along with his wife Claire.
When, three days after his suicide, record producer Jason Clements offers him the contract he’s waited his whole life for, it’s beyond ironic. But despite Bryan’s death, life, and good music, go on. Danny Gillan’s Will You Love Me Tomorrow is about as black as humour gets, and yet it never becomes farcical or loses the poignant edge. Certainly there is humour and a cast of characters that are real enough to remind you of your favourite boss or in-law. Bryan’s overly pragmatic and usually angry brother Thomas plays a strong part, as does the greedy Fortuna executive Phillip Doland, who is the one caricature in this novel. Claire, Adam, Bryan’s best friend, and Jason are all quirky and deep enough – grappling as they are between guilt and self-actualisation – to believe in and provide a good balance to Doland’s antics.