Reviewer Marion M. Dollar: Marion was born in Mize, Mississippi and had spent twenty-two years in the United States Navy and another twenty years at Texas Instruments. He holds BSIT/MBA degrees. He is the author of Stories from Liars, Friends and the Innocent and has stories published in the anthology, Fireflies in Fruitjars by the Red Dog Writers. In addition, he has published numerous newspaper articles. Marion also mentors new writers and is active in church and in community activities as well as being moderator on Scribophile.
Author: Patricia Gussin
Publishers: Oceanview Publishing
Patricia Gussin has shown her readers how to excel as a
novelist in The Test.
Dan Parnell is a self made billionaire
approaching the end of his life and begins to have second thoughts
about the neglect of his family. In his search to make amends and to
ensure his family does not follow in his footsteps, he devises a test
that each of them must pass within a specified period of time.
Their prize is their share of his estate. Should they fail, their
share, and it is substantial, would go to the others. Conflict begins
the day of the reading of the will when a grown daughter shows up,
previously unknown to any of them. But she is a superstar celebrity
and turns down any monetary inheritance. What could she want
then? Also enter on the scene a villainous boyfriend with
a plan that seemingly works like a well oiled machine to abscond with
the entire estate.
Conflict is further heightened by the
political scheming of one of the brothers and his sister acting as
his manager hobnobbing with the Washington lobbyists and congressmen.
Of the eight primary characters and their spouses involved in the
story, there is one pair involved in divorce with two grown children
caught in the middle of the squabble; another sister is unmarried and
deep into the drug scene. Imagine how deep one can get into drugs
with a million dollars advance in their pocket. Another sister finds
out that she has leukemia and is dying a slow death and needs a bone
marrow transplant from her sister. However, this particular sister is
at the twin towers when the two jets fly into them on 9-11. Another
sister gets killed in a car wreck going to find out about
the sister at the twin towers.
Remember the villain who wanted the entire estate? How does he fit into all this? When another sister dies from drug overdose, the plot really thickens. The villain finds resolution but not what he expects. He finds it on two fronts; his girlfriend and his father, both of which give him huge surprises.
Only a seasoned novelist could take as many twists and turns and make them flow smooth as water in a shallow brook. Then add the nail biting scenarios and unique situations of suspense and mystery to that mix and still maintain the plot and theme requires a God given talent. I don’t remember reading a book in which every character, with the exception of the children, had a conflict and a resolution to that conflict in the story. This book is an exception.