In Dwight Allens perceptive and beautifully written first novel, we meet various members of the Dupree family as they are coming to terms with the death of the family patriarch, a widely respected federal judge. We then proceed to get to know them as any new friend of the family would: by joining them for Thanksgiving dinners, vacations, and other gatherings; by studying the framed photos; by hearing different people tell their versions of the Dupree legends. Moving back and forth in time and mixing insight with humor, Allen creates rounded, fully realized portraits of the judges widow, sons, cousin, and long-time law clerk and the circle of friends, lovers, and spouses surrounding them. So even as they react to the sudden void in their lives in some strange and even unsavory ways, we feel and understand the yearnings that drive them. Written while Allen was in mourning for his own father, a distinguished federal judge on whom William Dupree was modeled, Judge is a sensitive and compassionate exploration of the ways of love and family.
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