The Test

( 10 )


Renowned philanthropist and billionaire Paul Parnell had reached the pinnacle of monetary success, but not without cost. Had he put too much emphasis on work and spent too little time with his family? Determined to leave something far more valuable than money to his six children, Paul instructs his lawyers to create an unusual last will and testament. This unorthodox will, which stipulates that the lion's share of Paul's two billion dollar estate be given to the heirs who pass the test, was Paul's last hope of ...

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The Test

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Renowned philanthropist and billionaire Paul Parnell had reached the pinnacle of monetary success, but not without cost. Had he put too much emphasis on work and spent too little time with his family? Determined to leave something far more valuable than money to his six children, Paul instructs his lawyers to create an unusual last will and testament. This unorthodox will, which stipulates that the lion's share of Paul's two billion dollar estate be given to the heirs who pass the test, was Paul's last hope of creating an enduring legacy by inspiring his children to give back to society and embrace a code of moral values.The six children-Rory, Frank, Dan, Monica, Carla and Ashley-have only one year to make a difference. But what a difference one year will make.Before these six very different siblings can complete the test, they'll be forced to face their personal demons and the incredibly evil influence that could claim one of their own.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Gussin's second novel was a finalist in the ForeWord Book of the Year Awards 2007

Gussin's debut, Shadow of Death, was a finalist for International Thriller Writers

A substantial promotional budget will allow extensive national advertising, including targeted print media ads and mainstream print outlets

A multi-tiered publicity campaign to include wide distribution of Advanced Reading Copies, a national author tour and Book Sense Programs

Author appearances at major conferences/literary events and will maintain an active website; outreach to independent bookstores, book clubs, libraries and publisher/author professional networks

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781608090037
  • Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/5/2010
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 1,495,313
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Patricia Gussin is a physician who grew up in Grand Rapids, MI, practiced in Philadelphia and now lives on Longboat Key, FL. She is also the author of Shadow of Death, Thriller Award nominee for Best First Novel, Twisted Justice, The Test, and And Then There Was One. She and her husband, Robert, are the authors of What's Next For ... You.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 10 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Who will pass the test?

    Paul Parnell is a billionaire who has just died. He made his money but near the end of his life he began to think about if it was too late for his grown children to learn life lessons. So he devised a test - if they wanted their money they could have it. After a year. If they pass the test.

    The problem? None of the children even deal with each other. They don't really like each other. And there's a surprise sixth child. That goes over as well as one would expect. Some children want the money, others want nothing to do with it, and maybe one misses Paul Parnell.

    Rory is a wifely type looked down upon by her siblings because she is a child of one of Paul's ex-wives and not of blood. Frank is a senator whose only goal is his political future. Dan is the black sheep, wanting nothing to do with the family name or the family money. Monica is the surprise sixth child, a famous singer whose parentage was known only to Paul. Carla is a model with a more than serious drug problem. And Ashley is the child who was still at home. Working on her medical degree and doting on Paul.

    What will they learn? What secrets lie in wait to be discovered? Who will crack? Will they pass the test?
    I loved, loved, LOVED this book. I found some of the characters extremely unlikeable but after the introduction of the test I raced through the book to find out what happened. There were surprising agendas, unforeseen plot twists, betrayals, and even death. Sometimes I was shocked, sometimes appalled, and sometimes just amused. You will truly follow the pages of this book to learn what the children are up to. In the process they will discover what they are truly made of. And in the end, we find out who passed the test. And who may not have.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Suspenseful and Entertaining Read, Hard to Put Down!

    When Paul Parnell died, he left behind a fortune in the billions, adult children by three different mothers, and a number of grandchildren and in-laws. Prior to his death, Paul realized that one of the regrets of his life was not being active and available in the lives of his children. His trusted lawyer is instructed to create an iron-clad will that requires his 6 surviving children to examine their lifestyles, morals, and values, and make decisions on what is important to each. The final disposition of family fortune will depend on the decisions made by the children over the next year.

    The family dynamics are interesting and somewhat convulted here, much like they are in any family of step children, half siblings, etc. It's interesting to watch the interplay between the sons and daughters, and the way they view themselves and each other. The author uses recent political and international events to weave throughout the story, adding an additional level of realism. The novel chronicles the next year in the family, and marks numerous ups, downs, sadness and happy events.

    In some cases, there is almost too much going on, and I found myself having to backtrack once or twice, just to check out familial relationships. In a novel with this many characters, plot twists and subplots, that's to be expected. Some of the twists the book used were easy to see coming, some were not. It definitely held my interest thoughout.

    If you enjoy suspense and family intrigue, you will enjoy this book. I plan to read more of this author's work in the future.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 12, 2014

    Liked the suspense and the helpful dog

    Liked the suspense and the helpful dog

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  • Posted February 23, 2013

    Good book!!

    Good read. Would recommend!!

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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    A great idea poorly conceived

    The book The Test by Patricia Gussin was a intriguing idea that was poorly conceived. The Test is a story of the patriarch of the Parnell family, the vastly wealthy Peter Parnell's, last dying wish for his successors. This wish is to not to make the same mistakes he did, focusing on business and wealth instead of what really matters. So enters "The Test."

    The problem with this book is not the premise itself, but the introduction of so many characters within the first two chapters. By giving us an in-depth ancestral chart Gussin tries to make the introduction of these main characters easier on the reader. What happens however is that we are left with more confusion and the inability to connect with any one person.

    Throughout the story, we are made to follow the Parnell family as they each traverse their own personal "Test" that has been personally crafted by Peter before his death. Each lesson is to be administered over the course of a year to find out if his heirs are worthy of such a vast amount of money.

    The story moved, however you find yourself needing to retreat back to the family tree to keep each character and where they belonged straight. By having so many main characters, each having their own personal journey, one has to relearn who the person is before you read what they are doing.

    The idea of The Test was ingenious, a wealthy father, in his last hours of life realizing what is truly important; tries to pass on wisdom he never could while alive. The Test was a great idea, with a grand moral lesson and a feel good ending. But with this many characters that you never are able to fully connect with, it falls flat in the end.

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  • Posted October 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Billionaire Creates Test for Money

    Billionaire Paul Parnell was a typical tycoon. He spent all his time making money any way he could and it was only in his last days that he realized the cost to him and his family. His six children had little or no relationship with each other, and most expected his money to always be there. So before he died he devised a test to try to bring his family back together and teach them the life lessons he failed to teach them when he had the chance. The only way they could claim their inheritance was to pass this test within a year.

    Even though the book is advertised as being about "The Test" and the synopsis is mostly about the test, the book only starts out being about the test and quickly looses that thread to become a murder mystery as someone targets the family members and the year counts down. Frank is the matriarch son and as such wants control of all the money. Dan is the rebel who left the family years ago. Ashley and Carla are the youngest sisters of Paul's second wife Vivian. Rory is Vivian's daughter. And then there is Monica.

    I found this to be an enjoyable easy read with a somewhat predictable story line. The book had quite a few story lines going at once that seemed a little disconnected or unnecessary, and the ending never did completely explain the outcome of the test to my satisfaction, but overall I would recommend the book.

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  • Posted September 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    An enjoyable, suspenseful ride

    As a way to make up for his shortcomings in raising his family, billionaire Paul Parnell is determined to leave behind an important legacy for his six children that is more than merely doling out the fortunes of his estate. In his shocking will, Paul instructs his children, who each inherit an equal share of his two billion dollar estate, that before their inheritance is dispersed, they have a year to adopt a lifestyle of moral living and open giving towards society. Upon hearing of this strange news, the Parnell family members attempt to continue their selfish routines, while also trying to fit into their lives their father's test. Unfortunately, it seems that almost immediately, every family member must endure their own personal demons and are tested so greatly that, in the end, these events rock their core strength as members of the Parnell family, and threatens to destroy each and every one of them.

    Author Patricia Gussin takes a seemingly simple premise of rich families inheriting fortunes, and expertly adds to the story by including a suspenseful plot that moves readers onto new courses of adventure that includes, but are not limited to politics and evil greed. Despite a few minor flaws in the story including some unbelievable areas relating to hypnosis, and the somewhat rushed ending, the story unfolds in a quick paced setting filled with a great swirling plot of likable characters, even the ones who don't exactly deserve anyone's sympathy.

    Quill says: If you take a chance on this "test" you just may succeed in taking an enjoyable, suspenseful ride through the lives of the Parnell family.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2009

    I Thought I Was Reading Nancy Drew

    There is nothing like a good mystery story, especially one that is set in your hometown. Landmarks that the author writes about are familiar enough to make the reader understand the story more. Philadelphia seems to be the setting for many of these stories (Lisa Scottoline being the master)...I suppose because of the city's historical value.

    "The Test" is the story of a billionaire family with roots in Philadelphia's exclusive Main Line. The many Parnell family members gather after their father's death to hear the reading of his will. They are shocked when they learn that they will only receive their part of the inheritance if they each pass his "test". Paul Parnell, the patriarch, felt guilty that he never really taught his children the morals they need to survive. Their inheritance will depend on if they can learn these morals in one year. Along the way, they will each face much hardship and tragedy.

    This novel had such an interesting premise, but never really succeeded in getting where it needed to go. I had a hard time getting through it, as I felt at times that I was reading a Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys mystery. The story is cliche'-ridden, and the ending comes so out of left field that it is laughable. Still, Gussin should be commended for her outline. This could have been a slam dunk.

    MY RATING - 2

    To see my rating scale and other book reviews, please check out my blog:

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  • Posted August 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Dynasty Survival contest

    In Philadelphia, the family of the late famous billionaire philanthropist Paul Parnell gathers for the reading of his will. He had outlived the three women in his life before dying at seventy-five. His first spouse Katherine died in 1963 giving him his two oldest children Daniel and Francis. His second significant other Monica expired in 1995 but they divorced two decades after one offspring, Monica. Finally his last marriage was to Vivian who past away three years earlier after leaving him with three kids (Rory, Ashley and Carla).

    The estate is enormous, but his adult children and those with spouses are stunned by what the executor explains to them. Paul felt he neglected his family and decided to "test" them. His five legitimate heirs are further disturbed to lean of his illegitimate offspring Monica. The angriest is Frank and his wife Meredith as they planned on his presidential run funded somewhat by the inheritance. The stipulation is simple: each must give back to society over the next year in order to deserve a share of the billions. Taking advantage of the confusion is avaricious psychiatrist Dr. Conrad Welton who plots to marry Ashley. Let the fun begin.

    THE TEST is Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None in a sort of Dynasty Survival contest in the first two years of this century. The story line is driven by the ensemble cast who by their varying behavior seem genuine though most of them spoiled as they cause twists to the plot compounded by a serpent in the battle to own Eden. Readers will enjoy Patricia Gussin's entertaining tale as Paul wanted to just get his children to give back and not just take, but he could not have known how deadly his test would prove to some of his children and their spouses.

    Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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