ANDY, the protagonist in Nicholas Shakespeare’s novel Inheritance is like one of us. Forever running late for appointments and forever running short of cash. His life gets worse. He is running late for the funeral of his favourite professor, he does not have the money for the cab (he just borrowed it), his promised salary hike has been postponed yet again and his girl friend has just walked on him. No wonder, he lands at the wrong chapel, attending the sermon for a man he had never met. He is not aware that his fortune is going to change. A man at the funeral asks him to write his name and address, Andy does so with reluctance. A few days later he gets a call from a law firm that tells him that he has inherited property worth 17 million pounds. The dead man had written in the will that two attenders at his funeral should get the property. His long-time house keeper and Andy were the two. Then Andy sets out to learn about the man. He meets the dead man’s daughter Jeanine who hates her father and is about to contest the will. Andy talks to the housekeeper and comes to know that the man was extremely kind hearted and the campaign against him was done by his wife, who divorced him and took away Jeanine on the sly. Andy sets out to write his biography and wants Jeanine to read it. Does she change her opinion about her father and does she go ahead and contest the will? -VN
Nicholas has weaved a beautiful story, romance around Andy, a very ordinary, next-door-neighbour kind of person. A soft slow read.
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