Andy Larkham is a young man in his late twenties stuck in a job as an editorial assistant for self-help books, perpetually short of cash, struggling to pay bills and who gets dumped by his fiancée on Valentine’s Day. However, his life takes a sudden turn when he arrives late for his favourite school teacher’s funeral.
Only to later realise that he is at the wrong one.
This turns out to be quite fortunate for Andy as he inherits 17 million pounds. For attending the funeral of a man named Christopher Madigan. A person he had never heard of until that moment.
The only other benefactor of Madigan’s wealth is a woman named Maral. His estranged daughter Jeanine who arrives just after the funeral ceremony is excluded from the fortune based on the conditions outlined in Madigan’s will. Basically, anyone who attends his funeral (the Attendee) will stand to inherit his wealth.
With this sudden windfall of money, Andy’s troubles melt away. He quits his job, buys a new place, a new car, travels and frolics with women.
But this is not a story about Andy Larkham.
During his travels, he realises with the help of his best friend David, that he needs to find out more about Christopher Madigan, his benefactor.
Who was Christopher Madigan?
How did he end up in London after growing up in Western Australia?
Where did he earn his wealth?
What happened in his life that estranged him from his daughter?
Who is Maral? And why was she the only person at the funeral (other than Andy)?
Does money and wealth really equate to happiness?
The book by Shakespeare takes us from modern day London to Turkey and Armenia during the World War and then to Australia just after the war to find out about Madigan and his life. He narrates about the people in his life, including his parents and grandmother, his love Cheryl and a con-man who seems to appear very coincidentally at different times, and of course, his daughter Jeanine. It is a book about values and the importance of relationships. Yet, at times, the author seems to forget that this is the central theme. There are parts which drag on especially when Andy is being a self-indulgent and narcissistic ass. But the section delving into Madigan’s past is quite intriguing and interesting. Having said that, there are sections that are a bit too hard to believe and seem a bit of a stretch (e.g. the reappearance of this one character).
All in all, a decent read but not a ‘wow’ one. I’d give it a rating of 3.