The Judge's House
by Jonathan Strong

ISBN: 978-1-935835-16-5
Perfect Bound, $17.00
Publication Date: September 2015
5.5 x 8.5 inches,155 pages

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The judge's house contains mysteries unknown to Lawrence and Nancy Huggins, who have moved in next door. Reassigned to a small-town branch of his Chicago bank, manager Lawrence and pediatrician Nancy find themselves the sole African American professional couple in Rockvale, Illinois. They are also the only townsfolk to have befriended their reclusive next-door neighbor, old Will Turley. After Will died accidentally, he left his grand brick house, with all its contents, and which has been for decades his refuge from the torments of his youth, to them.


From The Judge's House...

Their Impersonations

Copied documents and flimsy paperback in hand, Lawrence walked briskly home to find Nancy napping on the sofa. He tried to tiptoe past, but she caught him, yawned, and said, "No appointments, so I came home and lay down to make up for last night. I didn't sleep too well. I got to thinking about Will and his parents, and that got me missing Chloe and I started worrying over her and what this Deet is really like, and my mind kept on running."
Lawrence caused her to scrunch over against the back cushions so he could squeeze in by her side and take her hand.
"Sometimes in the night, Lawrence, I wake up feeling so alone out here. Not alone, because I'm with you, but the two of us alone in such a strange place for us to be. Then it sets me remembering old Will and how for years and years and years he was alone out here too. It goes round and round in my mind."
"He had his books."
"But he left his parents and never saw them again. I'm sure they hadn't treated him right, and I know that his cousin John did terrible things and then something especially shameful happened. But I can't forgive Will for never going home."
"He went that one time to visit his friend's grave."
"But never again. I'm guessing it all had to do with his friend dying. We thought it was in the Korean War, but his dad said it was just some bar brawl. I don't know what it was about that Caleb Pitchley, but don't you suppose he really loved Will, not necessarily in a sexual way, I mean, but Will must've been his very best friend in the world—"
"To be his beneficiary," said Lawrence.
"Because they weren't relations. Maybe he'd protected Will from the cousin."
"I still can't spot Will as being homosexual," Lawrence said.
"We wouldn't say so now, but back then maybe it wouldn't have been the way we're thinking of it. They may not have even known it about themselves, just boys with romantic longings—"
"There've been gay people all along, Nancy."
"I know that, but I mean Will and this Caleb might've been all confused. And their parents got suspicious and accused one or the other? I wanted to tell you this, but I thought you'd—"
"Not understand? No, I understand."

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