Ray Atlee is a law professor, 43, newly single, and still enduring the aftershocks of a surprise divorce. His younger brother Forrest redefines the notion of a family's black sheep.
He also has a very sick father 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 40 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 No longer on the bench, the Judge has withdrawn to the Atlee mansion and become a recluse.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 where he grew up, which he prefers now to avoid. But the family meeting doesn't take place. The Judge dies too soon, and in doing so leaves behind a shocking secret known only to Ray.
And perhaps someone else.
2002, hardcover; 341 pages.
Condition: Good. There is moderate edgewear along the top of the dustjacket on the front and back covers, minor blemish on the right above the "S" in Summons on the front cover. There is a price marked in ink on the first inside (blank) page. There is a line written in pencil on the last (blank) page. Spine slightly cocked. Interior pages clean and unmarked, binding is tight.