by Richard Freis


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An intense and engrossing novel of psychological suspense set on the Mississippi Gulf Coast-and reminiscent of the darkly tangled familial relationships brought into prominence by Mississippi-born writer Tennessee Williams-Confession features protagonist George Burden, a distinguished attorney who finds himself at a crossroads as he approaches his 55th birthday. From outward appearances, it seems George is living an enviable life. But even with his devoted wife, affluent lifestyle, social prominence, successful career, and beautiful family, George is dogged by the worry that the choices he made were too easy and too safe.His choice to begin an affair with Becca Talbot is anything but easy-and decidedly unsafe. A young woman who works in his law firm, Becca is a divorcee with a five-year-old son-and younger than George's youngest daughter. But for George, the affair is far more than just physical: he falls deeply in love with Becca. During one passionate noon encounter at a local hotel, George announces that he wants to leave his wife and asks Becca to marry him. When Becca rejects his proposal, George becomes enraged, and when he later sees Becca with an unknown young man, he becomes obsessed with convincing Becca to marry him-and demystifying the ambiguities of Becca's life.But that quest will lead George down a precarious path. Lust, jealousy, rage, and envy are on a collision course-and even in the present day, George's past begins to bubble to the surface. When a violent confrontation ensues, George will not only learn the truth about Becca, he will learn the truth about himself. Might some secrets best be kept secret?A tense thriller with a shocking conclusion that unfolds in four days, Confession is a powerful tale about passion, obsession, and desire. Novelist Richard Freis paints an extraordinary-and extraordinarily compelling-portrait of a character is crisis in Confession, a haunting tale that will leave readers breathless. "A taut psychological thriller, focused on a mid-life crisis and arriving at a stunning conclusion."-Suzanne Marrs, author of "What There Is to Say We Have Said: The Correspondence of Eudora Welty and William Maxwell.""Richard Freis reminds us how deep our struggle remains with all the great questions-first among them love and faith. In Confession, the end result is a masterful portrait of our familiar world, where we are all obsessed with the complex machinations of the human mind, and the human heart"-Steve Kistulentz, author of "The Luckless Age" and "The Little Black Daydream"

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780988947412
Publisher: Sartoris Literary Group
Publication date: 05/01/2013
Pages: 218
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Richard Freis has lived in Mississippi for almost 40 years. His poetry has appeared in Poetry, The Southern Review, Drastic Measures and other magazines and anthologies. He has published widely, both locally and nationally, as a literary and performing and visual arts journalist and scholar. He has also published translations and written librettos for a cantata and an opera. Professor Emeritus of Classical Studies at Millsaps College, he holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

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Confession 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
ReadersFavorite5 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite Confession by Richard Freis is a tale told by George Burden, a prominent Southern lawyer, of 4 chaotic days which culminated in his attempted suicide. The urbane and polished attorney is writing out this confession to a priest he had heard mentioned by a bishop who sometimes is part of his golfing four. Unable to verbalize the events that led to his sodden and disheveled appearance at the rectory, he resorts to confession by writing. His life, so ordered and predictable, became one of secrets and clandestine meetings in hotels when he became involved with Becca, one of the employees at his law firm. They first met at the vet's office and their coffee, shared doughnut and laughter seemed to give his life more sparkle and worth. His already distant relationship with his wife Julia had become little more than a formality, like a proper suit worn at the proper time. George's obsession with the young woman grows into what he feels is love, albeit tinged with the fear of losing her. His discomfort peaks when she fails to accept his offer of marriage. Richard Freis' Confession is a lyrical and moving tale of a middle-aged man who has clutched onto a bright piece of youth as a drowning man might a branch or a rescuer's arm. While George's story reveals a man whose life has been a shadow-play, an attempt to create the perfect family, have the perfect wife and be the consummate professional, there is still the motherless and alienated child who is not sure how to react to his father's rages and contempt. Where George shines and is fully alive seems not in Becca's submissive arms, but rather in the flats outside the family's coastal house. Here we share his memories of magical childhood moments racing crabs, climbing trees in the early evening to watch the fireflies and glancing back towards the house to see his mother smiling at him.  Confession is a beautiful, disturbing book that entrances and lulls the reader into a quiescence that even the bursts of savagery and rage cannot quite overcome. This is a remarkable book, and one I recommend.
ReadersFavorite4 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Bobbie Grob for Readers' Favorite Beginning with a man, his wife, and an illicit affair, Confession by Richard Freis goes into some very dark, very desperate places as it follows the search for eternal love. George Burden, an aging, well-off Southern gentleman of sorts is having an affair with a much younger coworker, as he has tired of his socially-correct wife. George’s life is going along nicely until he decides that he must ask his mistress to marry him. The book spins this tale of George, his mistress, his wife, and a mid-life crisis against the backdrop of the Deep South in the heat of summer. Although the book spans only four days, what goes on in those four days is sometimes predictable, sometimes surprising, and sometimes downright shocking. At first, I found in George Burden a rather dated stereotype of the rich man off having his fun while his dutiful wife sits home alone, her only crime being that she dared age. As the story went on, my opinion changed, but only for the worse. George is seeking to have everything he wants at the expense of those around him, and then he wants to be patted on the head for being a good man. I disliked George so intensely that I considered giving the book three stars, until I realized that in order to elicit such a response for a fictional character, Richard Freis had to do an excellent job in crafting George and his other characters for Confession. If you enjoy psychological suspense, this book is a must-read.
ReadersFavorite3 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite In Confession by Richard Freis we meet George Burden, a prominent lawyer in Jackson, Mississippi. This story begins with a letter written to a priest. It is a confession where George expresses his self-disgust. George is well aware of his sins and goes as far as trying to kill himself. George is having a torrid affair with his bookkeeper Becca; did I mention Becca is younger than George’s daughter and she is not only beautiful but single with a five-year-old child.  What begins as a one night stand turns into an obsession. Becca makes it plain that she is not interested but George wants more and proposes marriage. Becca refuses but when George sees her with a man her age he loses it and will stop at nothing to make her his wife. His life appears to be happy and his career successful. Although George is aware of his misdeeds, he continues to use bad judgment. At first he does not recognize his sins but eventually he realizes that what he thought was love was merely lust. But will he realize it before it is too late. The time comes when George longs for forgiveness and restoration. Confession is told from George’s point of view. I found it amazing that all of this occurs in less than 100 hours. Confession is a thriller with twists and turns that kept me reading all night. The author’s writing style is beautiful; the descriptions read like poetry.
ReadersFavorite2 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Danita Dyess for Readers' Favorite Confession by Richard Freis opens with a disturbing scene of a distraught man, George Burden, a 55-year-old attorney. Apparently, his botched suicide attempt at sea led him to seek redemption. So, he ends up at a church. Why? Burden had the perfect life in Jackson, MS: partnership at Burden, Cassel, Fairchild and White law firm, upstanding position in the community and respect from Cash Sessums, the governor. However, his steamy affair (obsession) with Becca, a lady 24 years his junior is the most important thing. With Becca, he can forget about his unsettling flashbacks about his father and he can rationalize his betrayal of his wife, Julia. Now, it seems as though Burden’s entire life has been condensed into four days of utter turmoil. The beautiful cover of the sea and sunset belies the dark undertones of Confession. The pace was a bit slow but it was necessary for the complex plot. Richard Freis does an excellent job in creating characters you can connect with, sympathize with, and others you will love to hate. I truly enjoyed Confession and highly recommended it.
ReadersFavorite1 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Melinda Hills for Readers' Favorite George Burden seems like the average successful upper middle class man who has made a good life for himself and his family. Confession is George's tale of four days in his life during which he is forced to confront the truth about himself, his relationship with his wife and family, and the path of his life. Carried away by the love he feels for a young woman with whom he is having an affair, George loses his connection to common sense as he tries to convince her to marry him. A trip to his beach home with this woman's brother turns into an intense confrontation between George, his conscience, and the depths to which he has sunken to indulge his lust. Richard Freis brings Confession to an amazing ending which provides a push to contemplate what makes life worth living. With fantastic imagery, descriptions, and psychological insight, Richard Freis tells an engrossing story of one man's loss of perspective and common sense when confronted with a love affair that becomes all-consuming. Confession is aptly titled since the entire story is George Burden's accounting of his sins in relation to an affair and the incredible circumstances his pursuit of this young woman bring about in a four-day period leading up to his 55th birthday. George's heart and mind open to scrutiny. Everything that has made him who he is is brought to light as he confronts the reality in which he finds himself at this turning point in his life. This is a riveting story that details the depths of human passion, frailty, and hope and celebrates the choice of surviving in spite of tremendous despair.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers' Favorite In "Confession," Richard Freis treats the reader to an insightful reflection on infidelity. George Burden is a respected attorney in Jackson, Mississippi. As he approaches his fiftieth birthday, he becomes restless and he begins to reformulate goals in his life. George becomes intrigued with a woman at work and he strikes up a relationship with her. He is intensely infatuated to the point where he thinks of leaving his wife. And then, the woman's twin brother comes to town to visit and everything changes. George invites his lover and her brother to a family home on the Gulf Coast and things immediately get out of hand to the point where George begins to fear for his own life. The author takes the reader deep inside the human psyche. George speculates and agonizes over his own life choices. He brings forth sophisticated motivations for his own actions and he imagines that God will surely punish him for his transgressions. And yet, he appears helpless to extricate himself from the illicit relationship. "Confession" is a brilliant study of the machinations of the human mind and soul. It puts into print what most of us silently ponder and it does it with a great deal of depth and perception. At times, it seems that George is sitting in therapy, with himself as both the patient and the therapist. This is a book for those who have agonized about their own transgressions as well as those pondering straying from established self-belief systems.