Your Face Tomorrow by Javier Marías

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Your Face Tomorrow

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

With Your Face Tomorrow: Fever and Spear, the first of a multi-novel series, Javier Marias explores the human soul's core and the fundamentals of communication. Divorced from his family in Madrid, Jaime Deza finds himself alone in London working for the BBC. Deza remains friends with former Oxford Don and colleague, Sir Peter Wheeler, a retired Spanish historian and linguist. It is at one of Wheeler's cocktail parties that Deza's ability to see through a person's guises and determine “what individuals, independent of their circumstances, would be capable of and thus being able to know today what face they would wear tomorrow “ is tested.

Unknowingly impressing members of Her Majesty's Secret Service, Deza begins a life of espionage by observing questioning sessions and evaluating the true intentions of coup leaders, celebrities, and high profile businessmen.

Simultaneously, Deza and Wheeler strengthen their relationship through long discussions which explore the foundations of communication, the meaning of life, and the afterlife. Through these dialogues, the reader becomes entranced by Marías's mastery of language and his enticing poetic writing style.

Slipping in and out of English and Spanish, Deza and Wheeler explore the Spanish Civil War at length, skirting around Wheeler's involvement, and examining the affects of Deza's father's imprisonment on his family. They also delve into Deza's perceptive gifts and Wheeler reveals that he too has an inner sight that identified Deza's talents immediately.

Marías's strong characters, multi-level and numerous plot lines, and introduction of a mystery woman at the novel's abrupt ending, leaves the reader eager for the next in a series of novels.