Book Review: The Testament, by John Grisham.

Pin It

One of Grisham’s Best

The Testament is one of my favorite books by John Grisham. He’s so well know for his legal thrillers, like The Firm, The Client, or A Time to Kill. This story has an unusual twist to it though. Less time in the court room, and plenty of adventure in the Pantanal area of the Brazilian wetlands. Not what you might expect. I loved it!

A billionaire announces his last will and testament to his money hungry family, dismisses them, then leaps from a window. His unlikable family, now expecting to be wealthy, start spending. What they didn’t see, was the subsequent handwritten will given the attorneys after they left the room. That will leaves pretty much everything (We’re talking the eleven billion dollar range) to his illegitimate daughter who no one knew existed.

Turns out this daughter, Rachel Lane, is a missionary whose last known address was in South America, working with an Indian tribe way off the beaten path. To find her, the attorney firms chooses one of their high powered attorneys who is currently in rehab–again–for alcoholism. His name is Nate O’Riley.

The Search

So begins a difficult search by a troubled man. It is so well written. The author takes you back and forth, between the family with their demands to hear the will, the attorney firm, and Nate on his dangerous search to find Rachel. With so many players involved, and even more attorneys, the plot moves along quickly. You can tell Mr. Grisham has been on location in the Pantanal. You can feel the heat, sense the dread when the rains come, and see the natives and how they live.

It’s a story of redemption, much more so than I remembered from the first time I read it. Between Rachel and her faith, a small town minister who befriends Nate, and the local people on the Pantanal, Nathan finds himself undergoing a thoughtful rebirth.

The story drew me in right away. At first I was afraid the nasty family would spoil it for me. They are not likable, to say the least. But that makes the rest of the novel that much more intriguing. You become invested in Nate’s mission and you worry about its outcome.

I read the hardback when the book first came out, so this time I got the audio version, narrated by the popular Frank Muller. He does an excellent, easy-listen job. I’m already planning on listening to it again. If you haven’t read it give it a try. It’s such a terrific novel!

More John Grisham Novels

Mr. Grisham has written so many well done books. Every one of them has turned out to be exciting, fascinating reads.  So many tackle different situations attorneys face. You have the corruption of The Firm, racial tension and discrimination in A Time to Kill, the death penalty in The Chamber, and so many more.

Even when the plot of a book by Grisham doesn’t sound appealing, the story always draws me in. I put off reading A Time to Kill for years because the story line sounded so disturbing. When I finally read it, I loved that book. I enjoyed the movie version too.

It’s hard to pick favorites, with thirty-five novels published so far, you have many to choose from.


Another of my top favorite reads, and one I put off a few years because of the subject matter:  A Time to Kill.   It really didn’t sound good to me. I was SO wrong. The beginning was difficult to read, but it does give you a stake in what you want to happen. Extremely well done tale that I highly recommend…










Author: Merry

Share This Post On

1 Comment

  1. I recently finished this book and loved the way the friendship between Rachel and Nate developed. I agree the family was terrible. Although it’s a shame Troy jumped, it was almost humorous to see his “heirs” behaving just as he knew they would. I didn’t really like the ending, and could have done with less of the descriptions during the travel in the Pantanal area, but the book did draw me in. You did a great job with all the twists and turns of the plot without giving the end away.

Submit a Comment