Friday 25 May 2012

The Mulligans of Mt. Jefferson

Finished May 25
The Mulligans of Mt. Jefferson by Don Reid

This novel focuses on three men, lifelong friends, now in middle age. Set in the small town of Mt. Jefferson, Virginia in 1959, the novel takes each man in turn, telling his story now, and through the past the story of the boys growing up and becoming the men they now are. Buddy is now a police officer and when his friend Harlan is shot knows that there is more to the story then he is being told. Cal is a minister and wants everyone to find their peace and not hurt others. No man is perfect and the two friends are worried about Harlan. Cal himself is struggling with changes in his life, trying to find his best way forward. Buddy believes in the law and treating people fairly, but doesn't abide telling stories, knowing how they can grow and cause more trouble in the end.
The town has many secrets, as do the inhabitants, but the focus here is on Harlan and what really happened to him.
I liked the aspect of long-term male friendship and the bond these men have from their childhood staying strong, but the situation here puts stress on them. The small-town life and time setting are interesting showing a world that wasn't that much simpler than ours, just with different issues.
This novel is part of an ongoing series set in this town and therefore doesn't wrap things up nicely, but the ending was a little abrupt for me.

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