cover image All for Now

All for Now

Joseph Di Prisco. MacAdam/Cage, $24 (278p) ISBN 978-1-59692-371-3

Di Prisco (Sun City) takes a bold and unexpectedly amusing look at the unfortunately joined subjects of religion and pedophilia. When Brother Stephen, an administrator of a Roman Catholic religious teaching order dealing with lawsuits from former students who claimed to have been molested by his brothers, suddenly dies, he finds himself in the afterlife—driving a Prius in Northern California as an NPR interview of himself plays on the radio. Needless to say, he’s shocked and confused, but he discovers that this is only the beginning of the oddities he will soon encounter. He returns to an amorphous afterlife version of his former high school, where, in a nod to Orwell, all doors lead to “Room 101,” and one of them holds his old girlfriend Shannon, now a plaintiff in one of the lawsuits. The dreamlike events that ensue with not only Shannon but also former mentor Brother Charlie and a student Brother Stephen taught 30 years ago forces Stephen to confront truths that he would rather have left unexamined. Though Di Prisco takes a heartbreaking look at the scars left by pedophilia, and some readers will surely feel anger at the sins, the tale unfolds, bravely, with much humor thanks to Brother Stephen’s bemused narration. Agent: Elisabeth Trupin-Pulli, JET Literary Associates. (Mar.)