The Testament – by John Grisham

25 01 2017

Yes, you’re right, this is not my normal genre! My Dad recommended it to me first, and I thought, maybe. Then my Mum did, and we generally have a very similar taste in books, so I said I’d give it a go.

At first sight, this book is about Troy Phelan, an elderly billionaire. But when he jumps out of the window after signing a last minute will, we realise we won’t be spending much time with him. This last will writes out his six debt-ridden children who were all expecting to do rather well out of his death, and instead leaves his fortune to an illegitimate daughter who is a missionary in the depths of Brazil, whom no one has heard of until this point.

The story actually turns out to be about Nate O’Riley, fresh out of rehab, he is sent by Phelan’s lawyer to Brazil to try and find this Rachel, get her to let them act for her, and prevent the awful Phelan children from getting their hands on the fortune and frittering it away. The book is full of drama as they have to travel to find her by boats up rivers, through crazy storms, and there’s even a bout of Dengue fever to deal with…

I think the thing that struck me most about this book is how well the Christian side of it is portrayed. Rachel is a missionary, she talks about her faith in a very real way, not twee, not cliche. Through his time with her, and with a Vicar he meets back in the states, Nate comes to a point where he prays, and wants to know more about God. It’s written in such a respectful way that you don’t hear much of these days. Very impressed.

I was worried it’d be a bit heavy but it was a pretty easy read in the end, definitely gripping. That said, I did see the ending coming – sometimes when you look at how little of the book is left you realise that really it can only go one way.

the-testament

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