The Testament – John Grisham: A Review


Title: The Testament

Published: 1999

Type: Adventure, Thriller

Troy Phelan, a billionaire whose eccentric lifestyle has led to three unhappy marriages, a brood of loathsome children and numerous affairs. His last will decides who inherits his empire and walks away with the cake. Just as his family begins to celebrate their supposed inheritance after Troy’s death they learn that he has left everything to an illegitimate daughter.

Rachel Lane, a woman who has dedicated her life to God and wants to spread her faith across the world. Her quest has brought her to the jungles of Brazil where she now lives. What she doesn’t know is that she currently owns the Phelan empire, for she is Troy Phelan’s daughter.

Nate O’Riley, a litigator who has been in and out of rehabs most of his life. He is sent in search of Rachel Lane to convince her to accept her inheritance.

These are the three characters that the book is all about. Troy’s cunning, Rachel’s faith and Nate’s determination all are put to the test in this adventure. The best part of the book is in it’s first 50 pages where you unravel the hatred Troy Phelan harbours for his ex-wives and children and how he successfully fools them. Nate’s story tends to drag a bit but his adventures in Brazil keep you occupied. Same with Rachel Lane’s story. What happens after he finds her is a downward spiral. The story tends to become a little dull going forth. On a positive note, it is a change from the usual mystery and fantasy books that I like. I have yet to read his other novels to truly grasp his body of work. Until then, I’ll make peace by reading Troy Phelan’s revenge over and over again.

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