Monday, July 6, 2015

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Reviewed by Ambrea

For young Jean Louise—known simply as “Scout” to her friends and family—Finch, growing up in Maycomb County, Alabama, presents its share of great joys and equally great difficulties:  playing pretend in the front yard, struggling to understand the antics of adults, trying to convince the mysterious Boo Radley to leave his house, reading the newspaper with Atticus, her father.  But the Great Depression has left an indelible mark on the county, and one court case may very well change the course of history for the Finch family.

I loved Harper Lee’s novel.  It is absolutely beautiful.

Told from the perspective of Scout Finch, a young girl living and growing up during the Great Depression, when hope seems at its lowest and equality only appears periodically, To Kill a Mockingbird opens the door to a world struggle to cope with new ideas and old cultural values—and children trying to acclimate with social beliefs as they try to form their own.

Besides depicting an especially moving, heart-wrenching tale of growth and experience and portraying one, crucial court case that will rock the county of Maycomb to its foundations—and change Scout’s and Jem’s lives forever—Lee also creates a host of endearing and memorable characters.  And, through the voice of Scout, Lee brings her characters to live, fashioning a dynamic and beautiful piece of literature set in the heart of one, tiny Southern town.

However, To Kill a Mockingbird is more than a memorable book.  It’s an iconic novel about race, religion, class, and gender, and learning to understand and balance all these things in the earliest stages of adolescence.  In short, it’s a novel about growing up in a world tinged by racism and prejudice and learning how to rise above it.

Note:  Harper Lee's second book, Go Set A Watchman, is due out July 14.  It was actually written first, and features Scout as an adult. 

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