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Manor of Disposition

Jeff Wedding 1646 Doubletree Lane Nashville, Tennessee 37217 (615) 429-2111 Novel Synopsis Novel length: Approx. 103,000 words MANOR OF DISPOSITION The novel is the account of a young mortician, twenty-six year old Lucas Benson, whose duties as an undertaker have begun to send him into an immense state of loneliness and anguish. In the first chapter of the book, Luke, as a ten-year-old boy, experiences the traumatizing occurrence of seeing a clown at a local carnival die violently of a heart attack as his father, a physician, makes an effortful attempt to save the man. It is on this particular evening at the carnival that Luke discovers his intrigue with death and the finality of life in itself. Over fifteen years later, Luke has become a funeral director in Nashville alongside his father's closest college friend, Paul, who also owns the funeral home where Luke finds work. It was when both of Luke's parents passed away that Paul took Luke in and became somewhat of a father figure to him. Because of the shortage of full-time medical examiners in the United States, the local authorities have asked Paul to agree in assisting them by learning some of the medical examining ropes. After agreeing to this, Paul and Luke are dragged beneath the surface and safe facade of a typical funeral parlor, and to a place deep within a world where the crimes and horrors that are committed each day prove to be devastating to both the body and soul. Each chapter in the novel alternates between Luke (told in the first person) and a crime story (third person), which involves a botched jewel heist. Also included in the first few even chapters we are introduced to Tabitha Hamilton, a nude dancer who happens to be the girl that Luke has pined for subconsciously through his desperation in finding himself as a human. As Paul falls ill early on in the story Luke begins to struggle with his work more than ever, both because of the physical overload, and because a cycle of realization has set in. This is the realization of the apathy and disgust that he has seen and must continue to view each day has started to grate at his spirit and hopes of being a decent man. Luke begins to see his true self for the first time and understands that he must make a change in his life, although he is not sure how he will go about it. The very fact that Luke is abhorrently surrounded by death, he begins to become desensitized by the importance of life and, because of that, he becomes fearful. When Luke looks at his Wedding/MANOR OF DISPOSITION/Synopsis present life he sees nothing but hopelessness and the vital need of true love; some he so very much wants for himself but has never been able to find. When Clarence, a college friend of Luke's comes to town, the two of them embark on an evening in which they end at a nude bar, which, when Luke sees Tabitha for the first time, he comes to an understanding with himself that he must begin to know her. After Luke does not pursue Tabitha that evening at the bar he feels ashamed and self-loathing that he did not utilize the chance he had to speak with her when the opportunity first presented itself. Under an unusual circumstance involving the murder of Tabitha's friend, she and Luke are united with one another. The nature of their chemistry becomes clearly evident from the beginning of their acquaintance. When Luke discovers several diamonds in a body that is being autopsied, he decides to keep them, shocking even himself by his decision to do so. Luke places the diamonds in his closet and all but forgets about them. The diamonds, although Luke is not even thinking about them, spawns an eventful escapade involving criminals who, in their attempts to relocate them (or so this is thought), go so far as to steal the dead body from the funeral home the diamonds were derived from. Luke, in his newfound love with Tabitha, becomes oblivious to the dangers at hand and only concen"
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