Wednesday, 20 March 2013

The Testament

Title: TheTestament
Author: John Grisham 
Source: Personal
Last Word - Refreshing spiritual dose

I find Grisham's novels very spiritual, echoing the very popular Christian philosophy of life, "For what does a man profit, if he should gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul?"

For many of us, like the Phelan heirs, money is the be-all and end-all. Our success is measured in terms of money. But not for Rachel lane, also a Phelan heir, an illegitimate one though. For her money is meant for the betterment of others. Rachel nonchalance toward money and her missionary lifestyle touches your soul instantly.

Eccentric Troy Phelan is a billionaire. He has several companies spread all over the world. But today, he is contemplating suicide. All his wealth could not win him true love - though he married thrice and fathered six children, all legitimate ones. On hindsight, he himself and all his children are leaving wayward lives. Though he disbursed millions to them on their 21st birthdays, none could make a living out of it. All thanks to their father, who never taught them how to live and make a living. He was always lost in growing his business and sexy secretaries. Fidelity was not a virtue known to Troy. Who's to be blamed, if the children go wayward and spend all their money without a fleeting thought to future. The money or their upbringing? Given that his children would plunder wealth at a breakneck speed, Troy before committing suicide runs a roughshod over his children - writes the eleven-billion-dollar will in favor of Rachel Lane. That's where the story begins.

Yes, you have to plow on for a few pages, before the story catches speed. The will literally jerks the rug from under Phelan heirs feet. They are up in arms against Josh Stafford, Troy's lawyer not. Stafford on the other hand, sends the now drunkard, now sober lawyer Nate O'Riley to find Rachel, who's has hidden herself from the world, in an unknown Brazilian jungle. Rachel knows of her lineage, but not about the will. Nate O'Riley, while fighting his own demons, makes his way to deep Brazilian jungles to find Rachel. Nate fights himself to stay sober; fights bad whether conditions; fights his fear of alligators, anacondas and mosquito bites, to find Rachel. Though he eventually finds her, he is unsuccessful in his attempt to make her sign the will. She makes her feeling very loud and clear ," I don't know the man, I don't know the money."

Nate falls for Rachel and even expresses his feeling for her before leaving the jungle. What happens to Nate? What happens to the Rachel? What happens to the eleven-billion-dollar fortune? Nate and Rachel both become bedridden because of Dengue. From here story develops an interesting pace. Naturally, you don't want to put the book down. What happens next? Rachel finally writes her own will and decides to use to money to serve the tribes. In fact, she decides to build a trust and makes Nate, her dear friend, its sole administrator.

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