2013 Reads: Seventeen {To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee}

Monday, April 29, 2013

Let's file this one under what the heck was I thinking waiting so long to read this book?! 


In the summer in the midst of the Great Depression a black man named Tom Robinson has been falsely accused of rape in the small town of Maycomb, Alabama. A man named Atticus Finch has been named by the town to defend him.

This story centers around Scout, one of Atticus' children, and her brother Jem. They spend their summer days playing around their street with a friend named Dill. They're intrigued by a house on the street that has a lot of gossip and stories spread about its' inhabitants, the Radley family. At the center of these stories is Boo Radley, who is portrayed as a troubled person who has been kept inside his whole life.

The story follows both the trial of Tom Robinson and the lives of the Finch children and the inhabitants of their street in Maycomb. It's a work that takes a real and honest look at race, youth, gender, justice, and injustice in the South during the Great Depression. 


I'm not sure there is much I can say about this book that hasn't been said already - and, even then, it was probably said much more eloquently.

I absolutely adored this book.

Everything. From the first to the last page. EVERYTHING.

I found Scout to be completely fascinating. I completely identified with her. Well, almost completely. I don't have an older brother (or any sibling for that matter), so that's the main difference. I was such the tomboy just like her and found that I absolutely loved reading about her struggles with what was expected of her as a girl in the deep South. It was a fun and interesting point of the story. I found her to be insightful and fun and interesting and interested. Of all the protagonists I've read this year so far, Scout is by far my favorite.

Jem was also an interesting character to me. He was the over-protective older brother, the brains behind the multitude of operations, and the defender of his sister and friends. While he got on my nerves from time to time (and, as the older brother of my beloved Scout, wasn't he supposed to?), I also loved hearing about what he was up to and why.

Atticus is such a profound character in literature. I can totally see why his character and this book have become such a classic in our world. Defending an innocent black man against the accusations of a white man (no matter how deplorable and disliked) was no easy feat. It would have been easy to just stand and act as though he were defending Tom Robinson. But Atticus knew Tom was innocent and he defended him to the best of his ability. And he did it because it was the right thing to do. Can we mention here how much I loved that his children called him Atticus, not dad?

And then there's Boo Radley. The most enigmatic character to grace the pages of fiction, perhaps, ever. I found him to be the most intriguing character of this whole novel. Yes, I was completely invested in the trial and the various town reactions to it, but Boo was always at the corner of my mind. The juxtaposition of his character against Tom's is such a brilliant and subtle move on Lee's part. Particularly when you put it into context with the symbolism of the mockingbird. It's pure brilliance.

This is a gritty and honest portrayal of life in the deep South during the Great Depression. Dealing with issues of inequality, rape, racism, and the destruction of innocence, Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird was an instant classic when it was published in the 1960s and continues to thrill readers today.

I love this book. Did I mention that yet?


Title: To Kill A Mockingbird
Author: Harper Lee
Genre: Classic, Legal, Realistic Fiction, Historical Fiction
Medium: Paperback, 323 Pages
Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics
Date Read: 10 April 2013
Source: Purchased (by Mom!) at Barnes & Nobel
Recommended For: Anyone and everyone. Really. Don't wait as long as I did to read it. 
Challenges: Goodreads, Off the Shelf, TBR Pile, Back to the Classics

First Line: When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.
Favorite Line: I think there's just one kind of folks. Folks.
Runner-Up favorite Line: Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.
Last Line: He would be there all night, and he would be there when Jem waked up in the morning. [whited out, for spoiler's sake]

1 comment:

  1. I love your review, so you have a new follower.
    Marianne from Let's Read
    And here is my much shorter review.


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