The Testament

Topics: Marriage, Suicide, Pantanal Pages: 8 (2706 words) Published: March 6, 2013
The Testament
By John Grisham

A. Setting
The novel started with a sympathetic and lonely mood as the one of the main character describe himself as an old man, lonely and unloved, sick and hurting and tired of living down to his last day even at his last a hour not being afraid of dying. The story begins to take place in Mclean, Virginia a  home to many diplomat, billionaire business men ,members of Congress, and high-ranking government officials partially due to its proximity to Washington, D.C., On a clear day,at the fourteenth story of a law firm six miles away from the Washington Monument. However the novel takes a very large turn and finds itself in the jungles of Brazil in a certain place named Pantanal, a tropical place located in the state of Mato Grosso de Sul, that covered the entire northwestern portion of the state and continued into Mato Grosso to the north and Bolivia to the west, having no highways and roads , no towns or cities , only hundreds of rivers and streams spread like veins through the hundred thousand square miles of swamps. Having the Guatos and Ipicas as native inhabitants who are not civilized people and pagans that worship different spirits and animals where missionaries are trying to reach out. Then the novel goes to the states to a cozy little cottage on Chesapeake Bay in St. Michaels where there is a maritime museum, an oyster festival, and active harbor, dozens of quaint little bed-and breakfast which attracted city folks.

B. Plot
* Intoduction
Troy Phelan Sr., an eccentric elderly billionaire, commits suicide minutes after leaving his vast fortune to an illegitimate daughter, Rachel Lane, instead of his six children by three marriages. His reason is revulsion over years of fighting with, and embarrassment from, his family, as well as their greed — much of which was due to his neglect of his children and multiple affairs (both personal and business).

* Rising Action
His lawyer Joshua Stafford and whom he authorized as the executor of his last and final will is now tasked with protecting Troy's wishes as well as finding the heiress. Nate O'Riley, a high-powered litigation lawyer and now recovering alcoholic, is sent to Brazil by stafford, where Rachel is believed to be living as a missionary. While Nate is trying to find Rachel, Troy's family does everything in their power to contest the new will. They argue that although Troy was examined by three of the top psychiatrists in the nation, he was lacking sanity at the time of the new will.

* Climax
The journey into the Pantanal of South America by way of Corumbá nearly kills Nate, but finally he and his guide locate the tribe with which Rachel Lane is living. She refuses the legacy or anything connected with it. Nate is unable to convince her otherwise, and returns to the United States after contracting dengue fever from a mosquito. * Falling Action

In the meantime, the ex-wives, children and respective lawyers continue attempting to destroy and disprove all evidence of Troy Phelan's sanity and even the will itself. They finally decide not to contest the will in court, fearing that their testimony during the deposition will further hurt their case. They also realize that two witnesses for the plaintiff are lying and would be torn to shreds by Nate should a trial ever take place. To settle the matter, Nate agrees that the relatives of Troy Phelan will be paid fifty million dollars each (minus lawyers' fees) to stop turning the will contest into a legal quagmire. * Denouement

When all is over, Nate returns to the jungle in order to get Rachel to sign off on the settlement, but when he arrives he learns that Rachel has died from malaria. She has, however, left instructions that the money be put into trust for the benefit of the indigenous peoples and that Nate will have control of the trust. The end of the book shows Nate riding off in a boat into the Pantanal, not caring if it took a month to get...
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