To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

Published by Arrow Books ISBN 9780099419785

“Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a Mockingbird.”

 A lawyer’s advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbid of his enchanting classic – a black man charged with rape of a white girl.

 Through the eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with exuberant humour the irrationality of adult attitudes to race and class in the Deep South of the thirties.

 The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina of one man’s struggle for justice.  But the weight of history will only tolerate so much…

I decided that perhaps I needed to start reading the classics.  I wish I hadn’t started with this book.

It was dry in its telling and the story tended to ramble for a bit before it got to the story of Atticus Finch defending the young black man and his trial and the effect that it had on his children.  I felt the story was more about the children growing up than about the trial.

The story started with Jem and Scout trying to find out more about there mysterious neighbour who never left his house, then the prejudice that the children had to face at school because their father was defending a black man, and then back to the mysterious neighbour who rescues them in the nick of time.

There really isn’t too much I can say about the story, it is a classic, it is popular, and it has its humorous moments.  Probably more of an intellectual book.

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