The Testament by John Grisham

testamentAs this best-selling legal thriller begins, Troy Phelan is ready to sign his last will and testament, distributing assets of over eleven billion dollars.  (That’s right—eleven billion dollars!)  He’s estranged from his three former wives and six children, who are all eagerly waiting for his death and dreaming of inheriting huge sums of money.  In the first pages of the book, Troy shows that he can still play a trick or two on the people whom he despises.  Suddenly, his relatives are contesting the will, as lawyers and witnesses seek to get their hands on as much of the money as possible.

Nate O’Riley, an alcoholic lawyer just released from yet another session of rehab, sets off on a dangerous river journey, searching for one of the heirs, who is a missionary to the primitive Indians in a remote part of Brazil.  According to one review, Grisham based his description of this region on his own travels.

Nate has lived in a world of self-indulgent, greedy, materialistic people.  Now, as he encounters a woman who shows him a different way of living and who sees the good in him, he begins to wonder if there may be hope for him to live a better life.

(Editor’s note – one of Grisham’s earlier ones, but if you are a Grisham fan and haven’t read this one…)

(Helen Snow, retired from Information Services)


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