Lynn's Reviews > The Testament

The Testament by John Grisham
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's review
Jun 09, 11

While everyone has heard stories about the reading of wills, few novels have ever focused on the meaning of the word "testament." This word is pivotal to the story since what Troy Phelan testifies to in the will unleashes secrets, exposing his heirs for what they really are --- both good and evil.

Grisham always teaches me one legal term I never knew or explains a process which I found rather vague. In this book, it is the holographic will --- a document wholly in the handwriting of its author. This will drives the book, but the testament is what is at its soul and core.

There are some wonderful images of the Pantanal region of Brazil which capture the flavor of the area vividly. The book drew me to a map in the same way that, many years ago, Paul Simon's music with Urubamba made me want to learn more about Peru. Obviously, it's an area that's special to Grisham as his Author's Note at the end attests. "Carl King, my friend and a Baptist missionary in Campo Grande, took me deep into the Pantanal. I'm not sure how much of his information was accurate, but we had a wonderful time for four days counting alligators, photographing wildlife, looking for anacondas, eating black beans and rice, telling stories, all from a boat that somehow grew smaller. Many thanks to Carl for the adventure."

Exactly as I said. A man with a story that he had to tell. A really simple thing that just works.


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