Until the Next Time

By Kevin Fox
Publisher:Algonquin Books, (2/14/2012)

Average Rating:
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3.67 out of 5 (3 Clubie's ratings)

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For Sean Corrigan the past is simply what happened yesterday, until his twenty-first birthday, when he is given a journal left him by his father’s brother Michael—a man he had not known existed. The journal, kept after his uncle fled from New York City to Ireland to escape prosecution for a murder he did not commit, draws Sean into a hunt for the truth about Michael’s fate.

Sean too leaves New York for Ireland, where he is caught up in the lives of people who not only know all about Michael Corrigan but have a score to settle. As his connection to his uncle grows stronger, he realizes that within the tattered journal he carries lies the story of his own life—his past as well as his future—and the key to finding the one woman he is fated to love forever.

With the appeal of The Time Traveler’s Wife and the classic Time and Again, this novel is a romance cloaked in mystery and suspense that takes readers inside the rich heritage of Irish history and faith. Until the Next Time is a remarkable story about time and memory and the way ancient myths affect everything—from what we believe to who we love.
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Nick's thoughts on "Until the Next Time"
updated on:4/3/2012

I thought this was a pretty entertaining concept in that you don't often see Irish reincarnation stories. It was a fun bit of fusion with some good characters, but overall it just didn't knock my socks off. I did think it was probably a lot longer than it needed to be and, as I believe others have commented, I sometimes got lost and confused over whose story was who's. And the whole Irish dialect in the writing wavered between being endearing and annoying to me. Still, it's a worthwhile read and a little something different.

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Ceci's thoughts on "Until the Next Time"
updated on:4/1/2012

I was immediately caught up and carried away by the book’s slightly comical set-up (Hey, what a wonderful birthday gift . . . my dead Uncle’s journal?), and the alternating chapters narrated by Uncle (Mike) and Nephew (Sean). The back and forth between Mike and Sean is pretty technically marvelous, actually, as they describe their personal journeys and respective trips to Ireland in different eras. At times, I found myself losing track of whether I was reading about Mike or about Sean, but as the story develops, it seems that this confusion might be part of the point. Somewhere along the way, I did find myself starting to get a wee bit bored. Maybe it was being forced to read the Reincarnation 101 lecture twice-over, as first Mike, and then Sean, is stirred from disbelief to enlightenment. If Mike and Sean and Kate and Declan are right, this probably isn’t the first time I’ve heard it anyway. The story, the characters, and the witty Irish retorts kept me happily hanging in until the end, though.

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Book Junky's thoughts on "Until the Next Time"
updated on:3/30/2012

I loved it! Great writing, big topic with lots to discuss (reincarnation), interesting story lines - this is, all around, a great pick for book clubs. Great pick for an individual too, just because it is good! It got a little "lecturey" in the middle, but even that was fascinating - kind of "Da Vinci Code" for reincarnation.  The whole time I was reading it I kept thinking that this could be a great basis for a TV show. Which makes sense since the writer writes TV shows. (I really hope they do turn it into a series.) And the whole time I read it I could not stop calling people "feckin' eejits" in my mind - it was great fun. ;) Once you start reading it the language becomes quite addictive. Don't let the lame cover fool you, this is a good book. Definitely a book I couldn't wait to get back to reading each night. Pick it up. It is great fun, and interesting too!


"Until the Next Time"
By Kevin Fox

Average Rating:
Unleash it
3.67 out of 5 (3 Clubie's ratings)

The Gentleman
The Gentleman
By Forrest Leo

 General reading guide discussion questions to be used with ANY book your book club or reading group might be discussing.

1. Until the Next Time begins with a dedication to “all those with eyes that see and ears that hear…You might not find the answers you look for in these pages, but perhaps they will help you to remember.”  Having finished the novel, what do you think that means? 

2. Anne says to Sean, “The truth is always written in plain sight, even if it’s between the lines an’ not on ’em” (page 213).  What message is she trying to send to Sean?  What do you think the author is saying about the nature of truth? 

3. Most of the novel’s story is set in Ireland.  How did the Irish backdrop and that country’s turbulent history enhance the story for you? 

4. Both of the phrases “right of passage” and “rite of passage” are used in the novel in different ways. How do they apply to the same events, and how are they applied with different levels of meaning at different times? 

5. As a piece of historical fiction, Until the Next Time centers on events that actually occurred, including Black Friday, Bloody Sunday, the bombing of the Killyhevlin Hotel, the Battle of the Bogside, and so on.  How does the factual basis give credibility to the narrative?  Does the use of historical accuracy make you more or less interested in finding out how much of the rest of the story may or may not be factual? 

6. At one point in the novel, Kate says, “Fiction is just the lie we make up to reveal a greater truth” (page 266), and at the end of the novel, Sean tells those readers who may not believe his story, “Just call it fiction.”  What do you think Kate means by the first statement? If the first statement is true, does it really matter if the reader decides to call the story fiction? 

7. Until the Next Time is told through the eyes of both Michael and Sean, in two different time periods.  How does the time period influence the characters’ actions and beliefs?  How does Sean evolve throughout the story as he learns about his uncle’s experiences in Ireland?  How do his experiences parallel those of Michael? 

8. Declan is present in both plots of the novel, past and present.  Why do you think the author chose this character to bridge both stories?  How does Declan’s development over time parallel the political developments in Ireland? 

9. Several times in the novel, different myths and stories are referenced as parables for reincarnation, including the biblical story of Joseph and his coat of many colors (page 352 and 374) and the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty (pages 213 and 374).  Do you believe that these stories have any meaning other than the literal one that usually comes to mind?  Do you think that the author’s interpretation of these stories is valid? 

10. The Novel presupposes that reincarnation is real and that some people are capable of remembering their past lives.  If you could remember your past lives, would you want to?  If so, would that awareness change the way you live your life?  Do you think that if everyone remembered past lives, they would live their lives differently, and would that make the world a better place? 

11. It is intimated but never specifically stated that Anne was Bridey in her previous life.  How are these women alike?  How are they different? 

12.  Throughout the book the author makes many religious references, including having Michael state that he has begun to see evidence of the old religion everywhere, including within the Catholic Mass.  Did that narrative line make you think about religion, or even mythology, in a different way? 

13. At the end of the novel, Sean is alone, and the story’s ending is clearly bittersweet.  Would it have been more satisfying to have him find Kate?  Why?  Why not?

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