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Download Jason Wingate's Legacies epub

by John C Broderick

The tragi-comic tale of Jason Wingate- a leading citizen in the small East Texas town of Green Glade- and the effect of his life and death on virtually everyone in town. As the residents of Green Glade deal with the aftermath of Wingate's death family tensions, long-held resentments, religious turmoil, and Southern charm are all exposed in this gripping story of love, fortune, and loss in small town America.
Download Jason Wingate's Legacies epub
ISBN: 0533160065
ISBN13: 978-0533160068
Category: Mystery
Subcategory: Mystery
Author: John C Broderick
Language: English
Publisher: Vantage Press; 1 edition (March 1, 2009)
Pages: 324 pages
ePUB size: 1371 kb
FB2 size: 1980 kb
Rating: 4.2
Votes: 935
Other Formats: lrf mobi azw docx

Anyone who has lived in or near East Texas will recognize these characters. Somewhere in our psyches, we held these impressions, but John has given voice to them.
This book is consistently and remarkably insightful on human relationships--across generations, in several marriages, among siblings and relatives, between coworkers and neighbors and ex-lovers, and even inside golf and theatre groups. It even manages to understand people who aren't from Texas. Okay, I say that with tongue firmly in cheek; but I still think this would be a great "One Book" reading project for the entire Lone Star State.
Broderick assembles a large and variegated cast of characters from the fictional small town of Green Glade in East Texas, and turns them loose to "have at" each other as lovers, competitors, enablers, skunks, seducers, wheeler-dealers, and just plain folks trying to make do as best they can with the flawed human materials at hand. In the first section he presents seven first-person accounts of the town's many foibles and secrets, and succeeds admirably (and quite deftly) in getting inside the individual heads of men and women, older and younger, white and black, and their idiosyncratic takes on a narrative line that involves a suicide and its many repercussions for the entire town over many years. The continuation of the story in the second and third parts is given in indirect third-person narration, i.e., by an omniscient narrator who can still convey the inner thoughts of everyone on the stage.
"The stage" itself, from a certain point, becomes a real theatrical stage, as one of the characters, a budding playwright, transmutes her own take on the town into a new drama. Just a sample of the interchange between the lead actor and this character provides some indication of why I so often marked exclamation points of "yes!" in the margin of my copy:
"Plays have to be collaborations to a large extent. It's not a play until some personal impulse of the playwright gets translated into a performance. Up to that point, it's only a script. What the playwright writes has to be socialized for consumption by an audience. That's one reason why going to the theater has always been a social occasion in itself. It's public, as no other form of purely literary work can ever be. . . . There is bound to be friction between playwright and director at first, just as there is between actor and director or actor and playwright. . . . The circus tent won't go up until all the ropes are pulled tight in four directions."
"What's the fourth direction?"
"The audience! . . . sometimes a low murmur or a suppressed gasp at a certain point in the action is worth five curtain calls. . . . And don't think actors can't tell when an audience is with them when it's not."
I wish I were better at conveying how Broderick gets "inside" things so often. I'll just provide one more instance, reverting to the Texas connection I mentioned above. That framework permeates the whole book and is much more often shown than told; but at one point this same playwright character puts it into words:
"Texans like to consider themselves a breed apart, though to be fair there are resemblances between East Texas, where I come from, and the Deep South. But there's something special about Texas, not that I think it's necessarily all good to be special. My father once told me about some obscure opera--by Tchaikovsky, I think. It's about a princess who is born blind, but her father, the king, forbids everyone to tell her she's blind. So far as she is to know, she is just like everyone else--or maybe I should say, everyone is just like her. I can't remember the plot. There's a semi-happy ending, I believe. I mention that story because it helps to explain the Texas mentality. Maybe it's an American failing, only you see it in its purest form in Texas. We're all born with a kind of blindness, but nobody tells us of our handicap. It's so much easier to pretend. We tell each other we see perfectly well, even though we keep bumping into the furniture. But the opera is right. Until we know we are blind, there's no hope of recovering our vision. And if the king won't let us know of our blindness, we're stuck with it. That's a long answer to a short question, but it explains what I think about Texas, about people, and what my play is intended to dispel."
This book ought to be picked up by a larger commercial publisher; I really think it deserves a wide audience. Even in places beyond El Paso and Follett and Texarcana. If there are such places.