Ray Atlee is a professor of law at the University of Virginia. He's forty-three, newly single, and still enduring the aftershocks of a surprise divorce. He has a younger brother, Forrest, who redefines the notion of a family's black sheep. And he has a father, a very sick old man who lives alone in the ancestral home in Clanton, Mississippi. He is known to all as Judge Atlee, a beloved and powerful official who has towered over local law and politics for forty years. No longer on the bench, the Judge has withdrawn to the ...
Ray Atlee is a professor of law at the University of Virginia. He's forty-three, newly single, and still enduring the aftershocks of a surprise divorce. He has a younger brother, Forrest, who redefines the notion of a family's black sheep. And he has a father, a very sick old man who lives alone in the ancestral home in Clanton, Mississippi. He is known to all as Judge Atlee, a beloved and powerful official who has towered over local law and politics for forty years. No longer on the bench, the Judge has withdrawn to the Atlee mansion and become a recluse. With the end in sight, Judge Atlee issues a summons for both sons to return home to Clanton, to discuss the details of his estate. It is typed by the Judge himself, on his handsome old stationery, and gives the date and time for Ray and Forrest to appear in his study. Ray reluctantly heads south, to his hometown, to the place where he grew up, which he prefers now to avoid. But the family meeting does not take place. The Judge dies too soon, and in doing so leaves behind a shocking secret known only to Ray. And perhaps someone else. (P)2002 Random House, LLC
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This may be the best book by this well known author. The story returns to Clanton, MS and picks up on old characters he has used in past novels. Pace and timing of the narrative are super. HIghley recommend
Feb 27, 2009
John Grisham's forte has always been creating sympathetic yet flawed characters. He returns to form in The Summons. Ray Atlee is a decent enough law professor recently wronged in a divorce--moderately successful if not deliriously happy. When he returns home (summoned) he finds his father deceased and three million dollars in 27 cardboard boxes in the closet.
Shock and awe soon become increasingly replaced by greed and paranoia. Does he report it to the IRS? Does he split it with his alcoholic brother? Where did the money come from? What was his father into? It is easy to root for Ray even as he makes his predictable mistakes. This is good Grisham.
Jul 18, 2008
Ray Atlee is the good son of retired Judge Atlee, and an attorney in his own right--now a law professor in Virginia. Forrest Atlee is the black sheep of the family; heavy into all kinds of drugs and boose. Judge Atlee has disowned them both; Forrest for his life style, and Ray because he wouldn't enter practice with his father. Now Judge Atlee is dying and he summons both sons home to discuss his will. Ray arrives at the time and date only to find his father on the sofa, dead. Forrest doesn't show up , which doesn't surprise Ray at all. Ray finds a one page will on the judges desk that makes him the executor of the estate, which as far as Ray knows amounts to just the house. Ray rummages around the house hoping Forrest will show up and finds box after box filled with $100 dollor bills, a total of over $3,000,000. Ray doesn't know what to do with it. Is is legal? The book is about him finding out if it is legal or not, and finding out he isn't the only one who knows about it. As usual, a great story from Grisham.
Apr 3, 2007
I loved this book. I looked forward to reading each day. It keeps you wondering what will happen right throughout. Excellent writing . One of Grisham's best
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