Like Amy Joubert in J R, Elizabeth Booth is an attractive daughter of a wealthy tycoon (the former head of Vorakers Consolidated Reserve [VCR], in southeast Africa). Her husband, Paul Booth, is a fast-talking capitalist who has lost much of Elizabeth's money through bad investments and ill-advised schemes. Now financially strapped, they have moved from New York City to a rented house up the Hudson — a ninety-year-old house in "Carpenter's Gothic" style — where Paul hopes to make it big as a media consultant. One of his clients is Reverend Elton Ude, an evangelical preacher from the rural South who with Paul's help parlays an accidental drowning during a baptism into a providential call for a multimedia crusade against the forces of evil, a.k.a. the powers of darkness: communism, teachers of evolution, the "Jew liberal press," and secular humanists everywhere.
Since he is almost always gone, Liz is lonely and bored at home, visited only occasionally by her younger brother Billy. Enter the owner of their house, McCandless, a geologist who did the original exploration of the African ore field that is now up for grabs between VCR and Reverend Ude (Ude has a mission and radio station there). Disgusted at CIA involvement with movements toward independence in Africa, McCandless left that country and drifted for years, during which time he married, had a son Jack (who once attended school with Billy), wrote a novel about his African experiences with the CIA,...
(The entire section is 362 words.)
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