Tuesday, July 24, 2012

{read: reincarnation and the Irish} Until the Next Time by Kevin Fox

I read this for a book group, and I am even the one who suggested it for our group to vote on. I was looking forward to reading it. A blurb somewhere had promised that fans of The Time Traveler's Wife, which is one of my all-time favorite books, would love it. For some reason, I had it in my head that Kevin Fox's writing style was similar to Dennis Lehane's writing, and I love his Patrick-and-Angie series. I was ready for a good read. And I was disappointed.

Sean's father gives him a diary for an uncle he never knew he had, Michael, and Sean takes off to Ireland to find out the rest of the story since the diary is missing chunks of pages. From reading the diary, he finds out that Michael killed an unarmed black civil rights worker in Pennsylvania and then fled to Ireland to escape prosecution. Once there, he gets tangled up in the deadly Irish conflicts. And, of course, there's a love story.

This book bogged down in the middle with all the explanations and examples of reincarnation and not enough action. Things picked up again in the final third or so of the book, when the bullets start to fly and the bombs explode. As a reader, I was relieved that we could watch the story unfold instead of being preached at. I also felt the characters of Michael and Sean were too similar. This can be explained through the plot and perhaps would have been OK if the characters of Kate and Anne had been more different. I kept getting confused about which time period I was in because the characters were more or less the same. Finally, either Irish people really use the word "amadan" to excess or Kevin Fox has been reading too much Andrew Greeley.

All in all, I thought it could have been more well thought out and more tightly plotted. The writing also seemed choppy in places, perhaps because Fox is a TV writer. The concept was a good one, but its execution seemed muddy.

Until the Next Time by Kevin Fox (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2012)
My rating: 3 stars

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your honest review. I think I'll pass on this one.