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The Test (Laura Nelson Series Book 3) [Kindle Edition]

Patricia Gussin
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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 lions share of Pauls two billion dollar estate be given to the heirs who pass the test, was Pauls 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, theyll be forced to face their personal demons and the incredibly evil influence that could claim one of their own.

Books In This Series (5 Books)
Complete Series

  • Editorial Reviews

    From Publishers Weekly

    Fans of TV's Dynasty and Sidney Sheldon will like Gussin's stand-alone suspense novel, in which the late Paul Parnell, a Philadelphia philanthropist, leaves a will that stipulates his six children must each pass a family values test to inherit a share of his huge estate. When Paul's executor reveals the terms of the yearlong test, Paul's U.S. senator son, Frank, and his wife, Meredith, are angry because they were expecting funds for Frank's presidential campaign. The would-be heirs are also disturbed to learn that Paul had a daughter out of wedlock, superstar Monica Monroe, who could also inherit. Meanwhile, psychiatrist Conrad Welton, a greedy psycho, schemes to marry Ashley, one of Paul's legitimate daughters. Various tragedies claim the lives of more than one heir. When, on the morning of 9/11, pregnant Ashley seeks advice about her upcoming marriage to Conrad from a lawyer with offices in the World Trade Center, she disappears. Is she dead or alive? The plot takes a number of terrifying twists before Gussin (Shadow of Death) reveals the answer. (Oct.)
    Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


    "Fans of TV's Dynasty and Sidney Sheldon will like Gussin's stand-alone suspense novel. The plot takes a number of terrifying twists before Gussin reveals the answer."   --Publishers Weekly

    Product Details

    • File Size: 2374 KB
    • Print Length: 280 pages
    • Publisher: Oceanview Publishing; 1 edition (October 5, 2009)
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B003YFJ5EK
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Not Enabled
    • Lending: Enabled
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,768 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

    4.1 out of 5 stars
    4.1 out of 5 stars
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    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    61 of 64 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Suspenseful and Hard to Put Down! October 24, 2009
    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.
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    56 of 61 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars A great idea poorly concieved April 8, 2010
    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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    28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars Billionaire leaves Test for Money October 18, 2009
    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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    6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
    A Creative, thought-provoking story that offers hope in times of cynicism

    This is a story that is at times a bit far-fetched and yet one that in the reading becomes a story of potential and "it could happen."

    A billionaire and philanthropist has accomplished much in his life,but at a cost. As in many stories we have read and perhaps in personal reflections, this character wants to leave a personal legacy that involves more than a name on a building. In a most unusual will, he challenges his six adult children to find ways to embrace a code of moral values and to measurably contribute to society.

    The six children include a wide range of personalities, with failures and successes in their own lives. Some are publicly known, while others are clearly private and almost in hiding. There is a vast fortune at stake and the heirs who meet the goals and intentions of the will after a one year period will inherit.

    This is the 1st novel I have read by Patricia Gussin and I compliment her story-telling ability. Her characters have believable flaws and strengths and there are a number of unexpected twists. She provides solid insights to the strengths and weaknesses of the extended families and those looking to advance their own agendas. One could comment on the details, but it is better to read the actual story as it unfolds, rather than to try to provide too much in the introduction.

    There are antagonists, "do-gooders" and nay-Sayers as in real life, but the conclusion leaves the reader with a sense of optimism in these days of increasing cynicism and self-centered greed. After reading this book, one should stop and think about values and ethics.

    Dr. John Hogan CHA CHE
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
    Very predictable and characters are caricatures.
    Published 2 months ago by L. Leach
    3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
    The idea was promising, but the execution lacked creativity.
    Published 2 months ago by dancejones
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Happy with this item
    Published 4 months ago by sprattbc
    5.0 out of 5 stars Greed were large sums of money are involved.
    A well written book of an extended family when the patriarch dies with a great deal of money. His children for the most part want all of the millions. Read more
    Published 4 months ago by Lindah
    5.0 out of 5 stars this came really fast and the book looks absolutely brand ...
    this came really fast and the book looks absolutely brand new , even though I bought the used book, I have not started reading this one yet, I am still on one more book ahead of... Read more
    Published 6 months ago by Teresa Dean
    5.0 out of 5 stars Wasn't so sure I was going to like it as it started slow
    Wasn't so sure I was going to like it as it started slow. But 1/4 of the way into the book it grabbed you by your coattails and carried you along very quickly. Read more
    Published 9 months ago by Gramma
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    I enjoyed the book.
    Published 9 months ago by sjf
    4.0 out of 5 stars Surely an amazing read.
    I didn't think I would like this book, but I
    I cared about the characters and became enmeshed with the story. Good book that will stick with me.
    : mjb
    Published 11 months ago by Mary Jo
    3.0 out of 5 stars somewhat hokey
    A little hokey in the beginning, but got somewhat better as my husband read along. He did finish it and gave it 3 stars.
    Published 13 months ago by Judy Whittington
    4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
    The book held my attention to the very end. The characters are believable. The tension is high. People will do almost anything to gain an inheritance.
    Published 14 months ago by RJMR
    Search Customer Reviews

    More About the Author

    Patricia Gussin

    New York Times best-selling author Patricia Gussin was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She attended medical school in Detroit after which she did an internship and pediatric residency at Tampa General Hospital. Board Certified in Family Medicine, Pat, known to colleagues as Dr. Patricia Stewart, has practiced medicine and has directed medical research in her role as worldwide vice president for a leading healthcare company.

    A graduate of Aquinas College, she received a M.D. degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine and an MBA from Columbia University. Pat's former academic affiliations include the University of the Sciences of Philadelphia as Chairman of the Board of Trustees; University of Pennsylvania Dental School, where she was a member of the Board of Overseers and an Associate Trustee of the University; and membership on advisory committees of several universities. She has an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree from Duquesne University. She is a former Director of the Sarnoff Corporation in Princeton, N.J.

    A Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians, Pat is a member of the American Academy of Family Medicine, and a former member of the American Pain Society, Past President of the Drug Information Association, and a former officer of the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

    Pat is the author of "Shadow of Death", "Twisted Justice", :"The Test", "And Then There Was One", "The Test", "Weapon of Choice", and "After the Fall". "Shadow of Death" was nominated for Best First Novel in the International Thriller Writers "Thriller" awards. She co-authored with her husband, "What's Next...For You?"

    One of six children, Pat has seven children and seventeen grandchildren. Pat and her husband, Dr. Robert Gussin, a renowned medical researcher, divide their time between Longboat Key, Florida, East Hampton, New York, and their vineyards in New Zealand.

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    Topic From this Discussion
    Author needs advice: Are there too many siblings in The Test?
    Honestly, I'd say that anyone who has trouble tracking all of the Parnell heirs probably doesn't read a lot of fiction. They were all made pretty clear from each other -- sometimes too explicitly so. Each of the siblings' subplots does something to clarify the characterization of the others;... Read More
    Jan 13, 2013 by spoothbrush |  See all 3 posts
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