Friday, June 01, 2012

Thale's Folly

By Dorothy Gilman

Andrew Thale has been sent by his father to look over a property in Massachusetts, an old farm house and the 25 acres that go with it. The house has been empty since Andrew's Aunt Harriet died some years ago. Thale's father, a successful New York businessman, was too busy too attend to the matter himself but is now thinking of selling the property to developers. So Andrew is supposed to go there and take a look around, take some photos and report back to his father. But when he gets there, he finds out that the house isn't unoccupied, in fact four people are living there. They were the guests of Aunt Harriet and they just stayed on after she passed. There is the elderly, mysterious Miss L'Hommedieu, Gussie (the witch), Leo (the Communist) and Tarragon, a lovely young woman who Andrew falls for almost at first sight. Naturally, they have no money and no place to go if they lose the old farm house. Andrew falls in with these people and begins to deal with a trauma from the past and starts to feel he is part of a family, something he never had as a child. Then Dad comes looking for his errant son and messes it all up. But maybe it will be all right if they can just find Harriet's lost will.

This was an OK story. The premise is that everything happens for a reason, including Andrew being almost killed in a plane crash. The crash sent him into a funk, and he ended up working for his father which resulted in Andrew going to Massachusetts and there is also a mistaken raincoat that leads to a fortuitous discovery. Plus there are gypsies, long-lost relatives, witchcraft and other contrivances, too many in my opinion. Also there is too much herbal tea in the story.

No comments: