There once was a time that the boys of America were at risk of being sent off to war without their approval. The novel “Until Tomorrow, Mr. Marsworth,” by Sheila O’Connor, addresses this issue in a remarkable way. The fight a sister goes through to stop her brother from being sent into the Vietnam War is exceptional.
The Kelly family has already lost so much, Reenie Kelly cannot bear to face yet another loss. Her oldest brother Billy will be sent off to an extremely dangerous war unless he goes to college or he has a history of speaking against the war. The family all work extra hard over the summer so that Billy will not have to go to the fight. Each member of the family gets a summer job including the youngest Reenie. She delivers newspapers every morning to the neighborhood and she happens to deliver papers to Mr. Marsworth, the town recluse.
Reenie wants nothing but a friend and Billy to stay with their family, which are two things that she hopes and believes that Mr. Marsworth will deliver. Over time, the two start sending each other letters which help them build a strong relationship. Even though they have a positive connection they have never met each other.
Mr. Marsworth always gives Reenie good advice whether it is about keeping peace with the neighborhood bullies or staying strong for Billy. Reenie’s other pen pal Skip also helps her but not as Mr. Marsworth helps Reenie. He had a strong influence on her point of view on the war and he also supports her on her thinking.
I personally enjoyed this book for many reasons. It teaches readers how the family should be the most important thing in your life. Despite the dark topic, the novel has a bright way of approaching it.
The book is written in a collection of letters between the main characters. If you prefer reading novels that are written in the standard form of chapters then you are most likely not going to enjoy it, but it is worth giving it a shot.
The best age to read this book is if you are older than 10 since there are some graphic parts in the book that might frighten younger readers. One would probably enjoy the book until they are 15 since it is a really easy read.
This is not a book that you could read many times so you are better off not buying the novel. But one should read the book once if they enjoy realistic fiction.