George Jonas

Final Decree book jacket Final Decree
Macmillan of Canada, 1981
ISBN: 0002228556
5 editions

Novel.

Kazmer Harcsa, an immigrant carpenter, has worked unstintingly to give his wife, Petrona, and their two children all the comforts of a modest middle-class life in Toronto. Kazmer's confident dreams of a happy future are shattered, however, on the day he comes home to find his family gone and himself a casualty of Petrona's quest for self-fulfillment.

Confronted by trendy divorce lawyers and judges, who mistake his native wit for simple-mindedness and his fierce pride for insolence, Kazmer becomes desperate in his search for justice. Humiliation gives way to rage when he decides that to be a man worthy of his ancestors he must take the law into his own hands.

A controversial indictment of how progressive laws destroy the very people they seek to protect, Final Decree is, above all, a work of literature. It strips away the masks of fashion to focus on the basic emotions of men and women. It does not plead for social reform, but celebrates the resilience of the human spirit. Tragedy, suspense and controversy combine to make Final Decree an explosive masterful novel.

Reviews

"A small and perfect tragedy... A compelling piece of art."

– Jack Batten, The Globe & Mail