“Skilled, unpretentious and tototally ingenuous . . . tough, melodramatic, acute, funny.”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
If I could give this book a higher rating than 5 I would. Of course I have read it before, I think it was required reading in high school, but what an amazing book, truly worth multiple readings.
Atticus is a small town Alabama lawyer in the late 1930’s raising his 2 children, Scout Finch and Jem Finch, by himself. Atticus is the person and the parent I would like to be, a great human being, someone who can love and understand and bring about change in the world.
The book is written from the point of view of Scout, a lovely lively 5 to 8 year old over the course of the story. She refuses to wear dresses and fights with the best of them. Jem is her big brother and he is a great kid too. Well no wonder when they are being raised by Atticus. The kids learn to understand the world they have been born into with all of its hypocrisies, oddities and entanglements.
When a 19 year old white girl who lives with her father and younger siblings in horrible poverty and no kindness, when this girl accuses a young negro man of rape, Atticus is assigned to defend the young man. This is Alabama in the 1930’s, you can guess how it turns out, but everything Atticus says and does is so necessary for the people and his children to hear and understand. Terribly sad but change comes slowly.
Then there is the strange unseen neighbor, Boo Radley. He is a source of much speculation and fear for the children. We see who has a kind heart and who does not, who might be capable of change and who is not. I loved this book and cried over it quite a bit. It is a treasure and deserves every accolade that it has ever received.
Added 5th April 2016
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
I first read To Kill A Mockingbird as a set book when I was in Secondary School. I loved it right away and read It in a week, it was supposed to take us the whole term!
To me it is the simplicity with which the story is related that brings the message of life in the rural American South in the 1930s. If the story of the racial tension and social inequality had been told from the perspective of an adult, it would have been a totally different book.
By exploring the issues from Scout’s angle it brings a certain poignancy and moral outrage to the story lines involving the main characters and how the things happening around affects them.
This is a book that I have returned to many times, in fact I’ve replaced it at least three times ion the past 40+ years since I first read it. My reason for this is simple – it is a great book , well written and with a universal theme that is as relevant today as it was in the era of Scout, Jem & Dill.
Added 16th March 2016