Tuesday, May 16, 2006

John Grisham moments

With nothing to read one day I thought I would tackle a John Grisham. My husband has collected the lot and loves them, so I thought... let’s see what the attraction is for him in these books? The first one I picked out was The Testament. I was immediately hooked.
The story is about a dying millionaire who alters his will at the last moment, cutting out all his greedy scheming wives and children and leaves it all to an unknown daughter. All that is known is that she is a missionary somewhere in the Brazilian jungle. A young, rather down-and-out lawyer, with a drink and depression problem
is sent off to find her. He has nothing to lose and the dangerous mission could prove lucrative and save his bacon. After much detective work and many adventures, he finds the girl. Meeting her changes his life and alleviates his sense of despair.

It is a wonderful story with tense and dramatic descriptions of navigating the Brazilian waterways and of the tribes of the jungle with their Stone Age, almost meaningless, half-human existence. The character of the girl is truly inspiring and the whole story upbeat and spiritual, a tale of hope and love. I felt deeply moved by it. Grisham writes in simple, succinct prose and has no un-necessary sex or violence yet the story is by no means prissy. I was so impressed I went into a John Grisham binge and read virtually all the others. The general theme that runs throughout his body of work is about the individual little man or woman up against the impersonal, ponderous, manipulative machinery of finance, law, politics, drug companies etc. There is always a legal or court case involved and these can be skippable, but are necessary to give credibility. The pace of the books is good without being frantic, the characters believable and the tone moral without being patronising. Grisham is a committed Christian and this comes over in his stories which favour the underdog and have sympathy for the hard life that turns some people to crime. Go out and get a Grisham ...you won't be able to put it down.

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Favourite Quotes

  • My home is my retreat and resting place from the wars: I try to keep this corner as a haven against the tempest outside, as I do another corner of my soul. Michelle de Montaigne
  • Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony: Mahatma Gandhi
  • Friends are people you can be quiet with. Anon.