Title: To Kill a Mockingbird
Author: Harper Lee
Genre: Fiction, Southern Fiction
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Siblings Scout and Jem have a typical, fun Southern life shrouded in childhood innocence until the realities of the world come knocking at their door when their father Atticus, a lawyer, takes on a controversial case. As much as Atticus tries to keep the ugliness away from them at home, it seeps into their lives when the children at school and the other townspeople become outspoken in their disapproval of his actions.
Atticus is chosen to defend Tom Robinson, a black man who is accused of raping a white woman. In small town, rural Alabama at that time, the townspeople viewed his defense of Tom as a tragedy.
Jem and Scout were raised to treat everyone as equals; so when the sudden hate and violence pops up it shocks Scout most of all. Jem tries to emulate Atticus’s patience as he matures but still retains the childhood bond with his younger sister.
5 stars. All the way. Many “classic” reads have disappointed me in the past, but this one went above and beyond my expectations. I knew the general plot going into it, but what I didn’t expect was the skill in the storytelling. Harper Lee portrays an old, Southern town so accurately without demeaning it or exaggerating its eccentricities. The dialogue is where most authors mess up, but she nailed it.
Her treatment and development of the characters was also so genuine. She didn’t make the kids annoying or unbelievable, and their growth as they learned about the world and how to handle it was exceptionally told. Atticus, too, was an incredible figure. The virtues he tried to instill in his children were done so in a way that wasn’t forceful or condescending.
And I can’t end this without talking about Boo Radley, the town recluse. It all came full circle when Scout took her father’s advice and put herself in his shoes and saw the world from a different point of view. Such. Character. Development.
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view – until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” – one of the many wise words from Atticus Finch.