Monday, July 13, 2015

Review: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Description (from cover):

'The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird become both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.

Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior--to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.'


My thoughts:

This book is one of my favorites ever. With Harper Lee's new book, Go Set a Watchman coming out tomorrow, I wanted to reread this book and reacquaint myself with this work as it has been quite a couple of years since I have read it. I love this story because it shows how the innocence of childhood knows no boundaries, no color and most of all, no hate. I find it ironic that this book is once again in the news in a time where racial tensions are so rampant. This book is based on racial tensions in the South and it really hit home for me personally due to all the issues with race in the news today. It was interesting to see how a book set 80 years ago shows the same racial tensions that we face still everyday. Of course, times have changed somewhat and now people have rights that were previously denied to them, but race is still a huge factor today.

This book is told by Scout Finch, a nine-year-old girl living with her brother and father in a small Alabama town. Scout is aware of her surroundings but doesn't understand really what is going on around her. She is thrust into the spotlight when her lawyer father, Atticus Finch, is appointed to represent a young African-American man who has been accused of rape.  This is the story of how race turns people Scout and her family have known their whole lives into strangers. While the circumstances of this book might be hard for some people to swallow, I think this is one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. It goes to show that when we are young, we have no prejudices or preconceptions of people and who they are based on their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc. If only we all had the mindset of children when it came to these matters, I feel that the world would definitely be a better place.

I am a paralegal by trade and while I enjoy legal thrillers, this book isn't one. Of course there is the courtroom drama, which is somewhat what I remember this book for, but this is about how people and things influence our biases and how we treat people differently due to those thoughts. This book has opened my eyes once again to how I should view the world and the people who are in it. No one chooses to be who they are, but they are what and who they are and we shouldn't judge people based on that. This book is truly one of those books that is life changing and will leave an impact not only in your mind, but within the depths of your soul.

Overall Rating: 5+

Title:  To Kill A Mockingbird
Author:  Harper Lee
Series:  N/A
Publisher:  Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date:  October 11, 1988 (Reprint)
Pages:  384
Genre:  Fiction
Get It:  Amazon; Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: This book was purchased by myself and I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

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