Incident on Tuckerman Court
Set in a small town in the northernmost part of the Pioneer Valley area of western Massachusetts, Wilson Roberts' third novel, Incident on Tuckerman Court is a tale of love confounded by bizarre forms of betrayal and friendship.
One morning at breakfast, University of Massachusetts professor Thomas Rutherford's physician wife, Jan Travis, changes the course of their lives by revealing a profound change of heart. Frightened and disoriented by this revelation, Rutherford walks outside to gather his wits and is attacked on the street in front of his home by two men who beat him mercilessly, leaving him blind in one eye.
The ground of his marriage dropping away beneath him, Rutherford is forced to live in a suddenly two-dimensional world where everything he holds dear is vulnerable. His marriage, his daughter Miriam's safety, his job, the security of life in his small shire town and his grasp on reality are threatened when one of his attackers returns. The mysterious Joseph speaks of remorse for the attack and vows an undying friendship that drives Rutherford to the edge of desperation as he fends off Joseph's many poses and varying personalities.
Readers will be amused by Roberts' picture of small town life in the midst of economic recession as they follow Thomas Rutherford's fear and confusion right up to the story's final words. Incident on Tuckerman Court gives a perverse twist to Flannery O'Connor's use of the grotesque in the service of faith.
Wilson Roberts' previous novels published by Fantastic Books are, The Cold Dark Heart of the World, a supernatural thriller, and The Serpent and the Hummingbird, a story about the conflict between faith and reason set among Pentecostal serpent handlers in the Carolina Mountains. All three novels are available in hardcover and paperback and available from local and on-line booksellers.