A Season in Purgatory I choose this novel because it was very attention getting for me. Certain chapters even humored me, the type of book fiction this was suspense with a twist of thriller. My friend told me about the book so I decided to give it a try. The author Dominick Dunne also the author of an Inconvenient Women, The two Mrs.
Grenville's, Fatal Charms, People Like Us, and The Mansions of Limbo. He is a special correspondent for Vanity Fair. He lives in New York City and Connecticut. The beginning takes place in Connecticut courtroom in 1972. The time span was 20 years. The main characters are in order of importance: Harrison Burns, Constant Bradley, Gerald Bradley, Grace Bradley, and Winifred Utley.
Harrison Burns not very wealthy, parents were murdered. He lived with his Aunt Gert. He attended Milford Catholic school (an all boy school). He wanted to one day become a writer.
He was a sort of a scary boy. He had no adventurous about him. Only son only child. Some what of an outcast good guy never broke rules. Lived in Ansonia he had adopted catholic religion and was very timid, self conscious, and a follower. Constant Bradley very charming he could make people laugh.
Everyone s favorite in the Bradley s family. Six-foot-two athletic frame. He possessed a refinement of a face that his parents did not have. His vocal pattern less strident than that of his parents and older siblings. His bearing wet, and style caused much comment, especially among young ladies. He had a facility for sports: tennis, golf, squash, lacrosse, and sailing, also played bridge very well.
Undercover pervert, excessive drinker, spoiled, very sullen, and bad tempered. Gerald Bradley s face had the peculiar characteristic of being composed of features that were at odds with one another, mismatched pieces, out of scale, each more properly belonging to someone else. His nose was too large. His lips too tight. His eyes too dark, both in hue and intensity. Very aggressive manner he lacked gentleness.
Very, very rich attended catholic schools of the city, Catholic University in Washington, and law school at Harvard. His early financial circumstances were further enhanced by his Grace Malloy (her maiden name) the daughter of a plumber who prospered in the plumbing business. Finest Catholic in the city (Gerald). A genius in money matters practically in the acquisition of real estate.
Gerald quadrupled the original butcher (his father) and the plumber (Grace father) money. He was a stern disciplinarian of his children. Uses his money for his advantage. Some what a Hippocrates. Grace Bradley lesser honor in household. She was sometimes a figure of fun to her own children, particular her sons, because of her religious fervor, which was excessive.
She was obsessed with fashion, which was equally excessive (with religion). A zealot for religion which she was a catholic. Nice to people usually. Always agreed with her husband.
Not so bright. Winifred Utley fifteen young and pretty innocent looking face. Trustworthy wanted to be accepted by peers and Constant. 5'5 long blond hair O. K. looking girl.
The problem or conflict that they faced was Winifred Utley s death. The reason Constant gives first is that it was an accident also that She screamed. So he told Harrison to help him in putting her closer to her side of the woods. Then he took his clothing (everything) off and put in a garbage bag.
Then called his father over his new mistress house. Harrison didn t want to do it but Constant insisted their friendship. Gerald Bradley ordered for his sons dirty work be cleaned up. So he asked one of his lieutenants to assure that the stained clothes in the garbage bag at disposed of immediately with out any trace. Gerald Bradley wanted Harrison to act as if nothing ever happened.
He promised Harrison (Harry) a full tuition payment to Yale and allowance. Harrison met up with Constants younger sister (Kitt) in Maine and had and sexual encounter with her. Then she invited him back with her to their house for the holidays. Insisting that everyone wanted him there.
She also told him that her father wanted to meet with him being curious of what he could possibly want he went to the dinner meeting. Jerry (Gerald middle son) came along to let Harrison on to a proposition that Gerald was offering. Gerald wanted Harrison to bell Constant out again by writing a book about Constant as if Constant himself was writing it. Harrison would get no recognition from the book. Harrison refused but Gerald insisted and was definitely not taking no for an answer. Harrison went to the Bradley s because Kitt begged him.
When he got their the family was different but the same... He finally got up with Constant to ask again to act as if he didn t know what Harrison was saying. Then Constant made a sexual come on to Harrison saying, I know this is what you want here take it (waving his penis around). Harrison did not want Constant sexually, but Constant was a freak and a looney tune. Constant goes off to a bar and get drunk and get into a car accident. At the hospital is when the family found out that Constant was with another woman in the car and he was very intoxicated.
The family started blaming Harrison and ask him to leave. They were still mad at the turn down of the proposal and the confrontation Constant and Harrison had prior that day. Gerald after feeling scared of what Harrison could tell the police ordered Johnny Fuselli to handle Harrison. Jerry enforced a drowning no marks on him. Fuselli did attempt the drowning but Harrison got away by kicking Fuselli in the nose. Fuselli was in his early sixties and had an heart attack.
Then going to the house unannounced Harrison packed his bags and called a taxi. Not knowing that Harrison was their the Bradley continue conversation about him. Kitt being concerned about him because it had been 4 hours sense last seen. Then had talked as if they had seen a ghost (Jerry and Gerald particulary). Harrison informed Jerry and Gerald of their unaccomplished doings. He also let them know of the finding of Fuselli s body upon the shore.
After hearing this Gerald collapsed. Strangely Harrison got out of his cab and helped him inside. Gerald did not die but became paralyzed and couldn t speak. Harrison then decided to let the truth be told. He went to the police and Luanne Utley (Winifred s mother) about what happened that night in Scarborough Hill.
In the court all the ladies of constant s past were called upon. Wiggle Somerset the young lady that loved him dearly. He hit under the cabana for not giving him any sexual intercourse. Maud Firth the other young lady which he had been with which ended up with seventeen stitches. The young women could not be an witness do to pattern of behavior. Constant was found innocent his father died shortly after the verdict was read.
The maids say that he gave a scream as if was opening his way to hell. The ending were both tragic and happy. Constant never became governor, that particular political figure his father had connived and tried to conjure for his boy. Everything they worked hard for eventually failed.
Everything Gerald schemed to get fell apart. The authors theme was Purgatory-a place for contemplation of what is ahead for atonement for what is behind, for purification, for expiation. Even thought you may think you get away with wrong doings int he eyes of man, God is not asleep. He still look down from Heaven and there s no fooling him.
He will see to it you weep what you sew. This book was interesting, funny, and very entertaining. I would definitely recommend this book to adult readers. This had a Great moral. In some cases leads your mind to wonder, but it brings you write back to reality. I gave this book a 9.