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The rich and prominent "Old House" families of Chicago banded together to protect their own - the driver, who was drunk, was the son of a local doctor. There was a cover-up and a vicious scandal. Leo left for the ...
The rich and prominent "Old House" families of Chicago banded together to protect their own - the driver, who was drunk, was the son of a local doctor. There was a cover-up and a vicious scandal. Leo left for the Korean War, and the three friends' summers at the lake were gone forever. . .
Until thirty years later when Leo, still obsessed by the memory of Jane and the need to solve the mystery of what really happened that fateful summer, comes back to Chicago and back to the lake.
Jane is more beautiful than ever, but her life has been an unhappy one, trapped in a loveless marriage and haunted by the memory of Leo. She has returned to the lake to try to piece her life back together.
Disillusioned with the priesthood, Packy realizes he's in love with Jane, too. But as a best friend and confidant to Leo and Jane, he faces a difficult choice this summer: should he help his oldest friend win back the woman of his dreams or pursue what might be his own last chance for love?
Patrick Keenan, recently made a monsignor, grew up among the "country club" Irish of suburban Chicago and entered a seminary in the 1940s. There, his best friend was Leo Kelly, quieter and less self-assured than Patrick, and a sharer of Patrick's infatuation with Jane Devlin, a fiery redhead from the wrong side of the tracks. The Devlins had made a shady fortune and couldn't quite fit in with the "Old Houses" set at the lake resort where the Keenans hung out, but Jane's stunning good looks and—this being Greeley, after all—magnificent jugs help persuade even the most ardent snobs to overlook her shanty origins. Leo is still smitten with Jane when he drops out of the seminary, but whatever hopes he holds out vanish when two friends are killed in an automobile accident and Leo is falsely accused of driving the car. Although everything blows over, Leo feels the need to get away, so he joins the Marines and is sent to Korea, where he's captured and mistakenly reported killed in action. Jane, heartbroken, marries a drunken lout; Leo, depressed, survives prison, starts a new life as a political scientist, and marries a neurotic graduate student. Thirty unhappy years later, Leo, appointed provost of the University of Chicago, returns to the lake to sort out his life. Monsignor Keenan is able to prod him along the way, of course, to the happy ending we'd had all figured out by page eight.
Too long and rambling to be a page-turner, although it has the usual Greeley graces (simple characters, even simpler ideas) in a plot that's not nearly as complex as it wants to be. For true believers only.
Excerpted from Summer at the Lake by Greeley, Andrew M. Copyright © 1998 by Greeley, Andrew M.. Excerpted by permission.
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Posted May 20, 2013