29 November 2014
Nora Roberts: A Will and a Way
This book was originally released in 1986 and has recently been released as an e-book. It passed the test of time for one of Roberts' early M&B type romances. This is not my normal fare but after an operation I had a need for an interlude from heavy thrillers. This filled the bill - while it does follow Roberts' early romance formulas it is sufficiently different to make it a good read for the genre.
Uncle Jolley was an eccentric but very wealthy old man who disliked and distrusted most of his family but was very close to and doted on his niece Pandora McVie and distant relative Michael Donahue (his mother had been Uncle Jolley's niece by Jolley's son's second marriage). The only problem was that Pandora and Michael had never been good friends.
Uncle Jolley had the last laugh on his close family members when he died. He left his collection of magic tricks to his son, and a nephew who kept the first dollar he had made was left the last dollar Jolley made, appropriately framed. Grand nephew Biff was left his collection of matches in the hope that at last he would set the world on fire.
When it came to the main bequest Jolley left most of his considerable wealth and his huge house (Jolley's Folly) to Pandora and Michael "because they understood and cared". The bequest came with a kicker - they had to move into Jolley's Folly and live there together for six months (with only 2 days away) for the estate to revert to them in equal shares.
Jolley sets up Pandora and Michael to live closely together and really get to know one another. He also stirs up his family to find ways to make sure that Pandora and Michael can't fulfil the requirements of the will.
It was an entertaining and interesting romantic setup, against a background of dirty business by the family. I needed the break and it was especially rewarding as the Kindle book had been discounted to pocket change.