Book Review: "Until The Next Time" Is An Enjoyable Escape
The book traces the dual stories of Sean and Michael Corrigan. On his 21st birthday, Sean receives a journal and a plane ticket from his dead uncle, Michael—an uncle he never even knew existed. Michael had fled to Ireland in the mid-70s after shooting an innocent man, and stumbled across a trove of information about his family's past and the IRA. Sean, in turn, discovers his uncle's findings, and searches for more information about the mysterious man's life.
The narrative, which switches between Sean and Michael's perspectives, can be confusing at times, particularly when both are shown in the same chapter, but Fox does a good job of creating distinct characters and sentiments in the differing eras. The story is involving and interesting, though the ending is ultimately unsatisfying. As a whole, though, the book provides a captivating look into Irish life with the Corrigan family and friends.
Perhaps the most impressive feat of the book, though, is how it tackles the theme of reincarnation. While reincarnation is a concept that is often dismissed with a laugh and a joke, Fox frames it in a way that is compelling and thought-provoking. By viewing it through the lens of both Sean and Michael's skepticism, the reader can identify with them and then proceed to drink the Kool-Aid (or belladonna, as the case may be).
Fox is a writer for TV and film, and he keeps the pace of the book moving along quickly, though the sheer length of the book makes it a tad challenging to complete. All in all, though, "Until the Next Time" is an enjoyable escape to Ireland at a revolutionary point in the country's tumultuous history.
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