Ken Wainwright was Master of Classics at Sydney Grammar School. His ambition was to teach classics at university. It was never fulfilled because his wife, Nell, was killed in a car accident with the wife of his best friend, Brent Fiske, leaving Ken to raise their sons, Fabe (10) and Augie (8).
Twenty five years later Ken dies from emphysema. Brent, living with Ken to care for him with his emphysema for his last four years, makes a claim on Ken’s estate. He alleges he and Ken had been clandestine lovers ever since an annual two week trout fishing trip they began taking two years after their wives died.
Fabe and Augie, executors and equal beneficiaries of Ken’s estate, shocked and bewildered by the allegation their father was gay, defend the claim. Augie received half the estate in his father’s lifetime. He was struggling financially and made no secret of it. Fabe was jealous and expressed his anger to Ken. Fabe accused Ken of treating Augie like the prodigal son. Ken told Fabe their family was not the Parable of the Prodigal Son but the Parable of the Two Sons, and told Fabe to read it.
Chapters alternate between Fabe’s POV and Augie’s. They have different perspectives on the truth of Brent’s allegations. The reader is left to make up his/her own mind.
The Wainwright boys settle out of court, giving Brent half the estate. Fabe is not prepared to run the risk Brent’s claim will be upheld and the memory of their father ruined for him by Ken being found to be gay.
But Augie has no problem with that finding. He too is gay. The realisation a year after Ken’s death that his father is gay brings him far closer to his father in death than in life.