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Thursday, 16 August 2012

John Grisham - The Testament

review by Brian Lowen live on show 16th August 2012.
Another excellent story from John Grisham.

Troy Phelan is a self-made billionaire, one of the richest men in the United States. He is eccentric, reclusive, confined to a wheelchair and looking for a way to die. He has a dysfunctional family with three ex-wives and six spoilt, lazy, out-of-work children who are all eagerly waiting for him to die so that they can get their hands on his money.

He outwits them all by making a last minute will, just before he dies in a spectacular fashion, leaving all his estate to Rachel Lane, his illegitimate daughter, who has chosen to give her life to God and has walked away from the trappings of modern life and gone to live as a missionary and doctor to a primitive tribe of Indians in the remote jungles of Brazil.

Troy’s family all contest the will and hire a team of lawyers to fight it through the courts.
Troy’s own lawyer realises it is essential to find Rachel and so he sends Nate O’Riley to find her. Nate is a high-octane Washington litigator who has lived too hard and too fast for too long. Emerging from his fourth stay in rehab he realises this is his last chance to stay sober and is grateful for this chance to prove himself by undertaking this great adventure into the Pantanal – a remote swamp like area in the deepest jungle of Brazil.
And so we follow Nate’s journey as he attempts to locate Rachel and tell her that she is now a very rich lady. He eventually finds her after a long and hazardous journey but she is not interested in the money and wants nothing to do with it and refuses to sign any legal papers.

Nate returns to Washington where all the Phelan family’s lawyers are clamouring for news about Rachel. How Nate destroys their case for contesting the will makes for some very enjoyable reading, as does the whole book really.

We follow Nate as his character gradually changes from a spent alcoholic to a decent clean living chap who accepts Rachel’s assurance that God has forgiven him for his former life as he confesses all to her. The story grips you right from the start and never lets go until the rather sad ending.

A really good read, thoroughly recommended.

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