John Mortimer, Quite Honestly Review

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Harriet Klausner's review of John Mortimer, Quite Honestly


“Quite Honestly ”

Written on: 02/02/2006 by Harriet Klausner (18637 reviews written)

Quite Honestly

John Mortimer

Viking, Apr 2006, $24.95

ISBN 0670034835

Recently graduated from Manchester University with a degree in social sciences, Lucinda Purefoy feels good about her future. Perhaps because of her being an offspring of a caring liberal Anglican bishop, Lucinda believes she should thank society for her opportunities. Thus the idealistic Lucinda joins the volunteer group SCRAP (Social Careers, Reformers and Preceptors) that assigns one of their compassionate guides with a recently released former convict to expedite the ex prisoner's return into society.

Lucinda meets her objective burglar Terry Keegan as he is released from Wormwood Scrubs after he spent three years behind bars for breaking and entering. Terry wants nothing to do with the do-gooder, so he plans to dump her in the first fast food place he finds. However, stubborn Lucinda is like dry mustard refusing to come off, even when Terry visits his childhood crony Leonard "Chippy" McGrath seeking work. Chippy is an environmentally concerned businessman, who Lucinda will soon learn runs a vast crime complex

QUITE HONESTLY is a fabulous look at society using a rotational point of view between how Lucinda sees her need to help Terry, and his perspective that she is a pain in the rump. The storyline is fast-paced and filled with amusement as John Mortimer looks closely in his ironic manner at incarceration and prison reform through his Good Samaritan and a former guest of the state. Rumpole aside, this is a fabulous thought provoking tale that will have readers laugh yet ponder the goal of imprisonment and what is best for both society and the ex-con (not necessarily inclusive) to return to the civilian world.

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