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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Testament: A Novel

John Grisham's The Testament was a recent vacation book as I am wont to do while relaxing poolside. In truth, I read this book back in August (AUGUST!) and I am just now getting around to posting about it. As it goes, I guess. Let's keep getting caught up!

One afternoon, the billionaire Troy Phelan invites his family to his office for the reading of his will, only to suddenly throw himself out the window and kill himself after secretly having written a new will that names a sole heir whom no one has ever heard of. His greedy children and grandchildren are completely stricken by the worst behavior that Troy could have predicted and vow to appeal the will. Meanwhile, Nate O'Reilly, strait out of rehab for the third time and barely able to continue to practice law is sent to the jungles of Brazil to find this mysterious heir to the Phelan fortune.

This book was a wonderful beach read. It was not a throwback Grisham in the traditional way, but I really, really loved the change of pace of this book. (Sometimes when Grisham shakes it up I'm not a fan, but this was certainly not the case here.) I loved Nate and his completely flawed character and all that he stood for. He was a broken man who almost had nothing to live for. This journey that he was sent on, though, redeemed him in a way that he never could have guessed.

Speaking of that journey, I loved the sections that featured Nate in the jungle. I would actually say that they were some of my favorite new-Grisham scenes. (Honestly, few of his books can compare to A Time to Kill or The Firm.) Grisham's writing was so clear and vivid that it felt like I was there. I'm not saying that I opened a new browser and looked into possibly taking my own trip to deep in the Brazilian jungle...I'm just not saying I didn't either.

Rachel Lane, the mysterious heir to the fortune, may or may not have been found. I don't want to say much here on that because I really loved that I didn't know whether or not Nate would find her. It was a nice anticipation -- not thriller like, but still enjoyable -- and I would like for you to have the same opportunity if you decide to pick this up on your next vacation. It's worth a trip to the bookstore (used if you can! save a tree!).

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