Monday, August 18, 2008

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

I decided to give the classic genre another shot and download To Kill A Mockingbird from this website. Since my job has a tendency to have lulls throughout the day, I needed something other than surfing the Internet to keep my attention. My sister Kati had recommended this as a good one for me to try after she had recently read it during our family vacation in July.

I admit, it was definitely a lot better than Pride & Prejudice or Alice In Wonderland for me. I followed the story much easier and the author's messages came through loud and clear. Wow, to imagine a society where black men and women were treated with such disrespect, it just sickened me to read about it, but at the same time I really needed to hear it. Even though I know there are still places in our country where equality is not practiced, we have definitely come a long way from what I read in that book. I loved the relationship between Atticus and his son and daughter and what he teaches them. I would probably say that Calpurnia was one of my favorite characters in the entire book. There is something for everyone to learn in this story, even beyond the obvious of treating everyone with respect and as how you would want to be treated.

I'm glad I read it and toward the end I couldn't manage to put it down. I highly recommend to anyone no matter where you are in your life or where you come from. Oh! And now when someone mentions Boo Radley, I understand who they're talking about! (ie. my husband!)

At the age of eight, Scout Finch is an entrenched free-thinker. She can accept her father's warning that it is a sin to kill a mockingbird, because mockingbirds harm no one and give great pleasure. The benefits said to be gained from going to school and keeping her temper elude her.

The place of this enchanting, intensely moving story is Maycomb, Alabama. The time is the Depression, but Scout and her brother, Jem, are seldom depressed. They have appalling gifts for entertaining themselves—appalling, that is, to almost everyone except their wise lawyer father, Atticus.

Atticus is a man of unfaltering good will and humor, and partly because of this, the children become involved in some disturbing adult mysteries: fascinating Boo Radley, who never leaves his house; the terrible temper of Mrs. Dubose down the street; the fine distinctions that make the Finch family "quality"; the forces that cause the people of Maycomb to show compassion in one crisis and unreasoning cruelty in another.

Also because Atticus is what he is, and because he lives where he does, he and his children are plunged into a conflict that indelibly marks their lives—and gives Scout some basis for thinking she knows just about as much about the world as she needs to.

Rating: ****

Recommend: Absolutely! After all, it is a classic!


Katrina Hope said...

Good review. I was surpised by this book, when like you, I couldn't put it down for the second half. In a society where there is so much prejudice, and yet one strong man of character (or perhaps a few in hiding you find), you can't say for certain how things will end. It was an incredible story, and so well crafted.

Rachel Sarah said...

Harper Lee is a master writer! My favorite book of all time. Glad you could experience it.

Anonymous said...

I remember this book as being one of the very few books in HS that I read and I liked.

Jena said...

I discovered last year that my husband hadn't read TKAM, so when we stopped by Powell's Books on our way back to BC (we had a road trip honeymoon), I found TKAM on tape so we could listen to it in the Westy. I like it better to read than to listen to, but I've read it several times on my own (assigned reading in high school, on my own in college, and then I was the teacher who got to assign it--though I was really against forcing it on 15/16 year olds), so I have my own voice for Scout in my head.