Good Faith by Jane Smiley read by Richard Poe

At what point can one say that a man is a cheat? When he buys a house from you, when he tells you how to avoid paying income tax, when you help him misrepresent himself, when he helps you find a woman you can marry, when he calls you his best friend? When he complains to you about his wife with the long red hair? When he tells you that everyone trusts you, likes doing business with you, and you could have more, much more? When you close down your business to help him turn an old farm into a classy residential community? When you’re a real estate agent, and it’s 1981?

Perhaps deception should be classified as a sexual crime, as a long form of seduction. Because this is what Good Faith maps out: the leisurely seduction of an average Joe, the leading astray, or leading aside, or leading apart of a country realtor (from the Latin s?ducti?, s?ducti?n-, from s?ductus, past participle of s?d?cere, to lead astray : s?-, apart; see s(w)e- in Indo-European roots + d?cere, to lead; see deuk- in Indo-European roots.)

It was June and summer was right on time.

This is the mood of a good seduction. Not so much an act or an agency as an atmosphere, an environment, a happy economic mix: inflation, undervalued property, optimism. Jane: a combination of older sister, receptionist and tease. Marcus: a persuasive, likeable, ex IRS agent. Joe: a small-town, laid back, bill-paying Christian. A well brought up boy who dusts and smiles at buyers, widows, bankers, and government clerks. Who seduces and is seduced.