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The Habitation of Dragons

Horton Foote

Published October 1st 1993
ISBN : 9780822213307
Paperback
79 pages
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 About the Book 

Its 1935 in Harrison, Texas. George Tolliver has decided to run for county attorney general, but his older, and more successful, brother Leonard tries to dissuade him because the familys backing has already gone to another local lawyer, hisMoreIts 1935 in Harrison, Texas. George Tolliver has decided to run for county attorney general, but his older, and more successful, brother Leonard tries to dissuade him because the familys backing has already gone to another local lawyer, his brother-in-law, Billy. George runs, though, after lashing out at the more successful Leonard for less than moral support in the past. At the same time, their late fathers brother Virgil appears on the Tolliver familys doorstep, asking for shelter now that hes old and broke. Its a hard decision for the widowed Mrs. Tolliver since Virgil once abandoned them years ago when they needed money- still, they take him in. Within days, Leonards wife Margaret is found out to be having an affair with Wally Smith, her husbands handyman. On the very same afternoon, both of Margaret and Leonards young boys drown while swimming in the river with Wally. Believing this to be a punishment for her adultery, Margaret has a breakdown and is institutionalized. In his grief, Leonard lets his law practice crumble and in despair reveals to his mother that hes always known his father committed suicide and did not die accidentally. Things arent made any easier when Margarets brother, Billy, murders his sisters lover and now a neighbor wants to blackmail the Tollivers with a packet of love letters sent from Margaret to Wally Smith. Eventually, Margaret returns home to beg her husbands forgiveness. At first Leonard refuses, but he realizes he does want to start over again and he forgives Margaret before she shoots herself with the gun Leonard was going to use on himself. George, having had to make up for Leonards absence, has rediscovered his calling as a lawyerand has finally risen to the responsibilities of his own new marriage, impending fatherhood and leading the sorrowful Tolliver household.