Synopses & Reviews
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 No longer on the bench, the Judge has withdrawn to the Atlee mansion and become a recluse.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.
"Grisham tells his tale in a bright, knowing style that owes something to country music. His evocation of small-town life in rural Mississippi can be deft, but the action that makes up the bulk of the book is disjointed and repetitive." New York Times Book Review
"John Grisham is at his best when he's plotting heavily, tossing his characters into dire straits and then pulling out the stops to save them, all the while weaving in details of legal precedence, and playing with the gray area between the letter of the law and its spirit....In The Summons, he returns in all his Grisham glory, complete with lawyers both good and bad, legal issues to be pondered and the delightful suspense that keep us flipping the pages." Los Angeles Times
"The Summons ranks as my absolute favorite in many years...[with] an ending too delicious and morally instructive to give away." USA Today
"A pleasure to read...a good yarn." The Washington Post
University of Virginia law professor Ray Atlee reluctantly returns to his Mississippi hometown after receiving a summons from his ill father, a retired judge who lives alone in his ancestral mansion. Ray's younger brother, Forrest, is also summoned. But the judge dies before meeting his sons, leaving behind a shocking secret known only to Ray and perhaps someone else.
Once Judge Atlee was a powerful figure in Clanton, Mississippi a pillar of the community who towered over local law and politics for forty years. Now the judge is a shadow of his former self, a sick, lonely old man who has withdrawn to his sprawling ancestral home. Knowing the end is near, Judge Atlee has issued a summons for his two sons to return to Clanton to discuss his estate. Ray Atlee is the eldest, a Virginia law professor, newly single and still enduring the aftershocks of a surprise divorce. Forrest is Ray's younger brother, who redefines the notion of a family's black sheep.
The summons 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 and now prefers 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.
About the Author
Since first publishing A Time to Kill
in 1988, Grisham has written one novel a year (his other books are The Chamber
, The Rainmaker
, The Runaway Jury
, The Partner
, and The Street Lawyer
), and all of them have become bestsellers, leading Publishers Weekly
to declare him "the bestselling novelist of the 90s" in a January 1998 profile. There are currently over 60 million John Grisham books in print worldwide, which have been translated into 29 languages. Six of his novels have been turned into films (The Firm
, The Pelican Brief
, The Client
, A Time to Kill
, The Rainmaker
, and The Chamber
), as was an original screenplay, The Gingerbread Man
Grisham lives with his wife Renee and their two children Ty and Shea. The family splits their time between their Victorian home on a farm in Mississippi and a plantation near Charlottesville, VA.