Book Review: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

August 26, 2015 Blog, Book Reviews 0

Book Review: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Published by Harper Perennial Modern Classics on May 23rd 2006
Length: 12 hrs and 17 mins
Genres: Classics, Fiction, General, Literary
Pages: 324
Source: Purchase
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The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became 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 kitty

I do not remember reading this book while in high school so when the debate came up in my family’s book club, I thought why not read it and the new one!

With everything that is going on in the world today, I thought this was beautifully and poignantly written. The way Harper Lee can explain the horrors of what is in everyone’s thoughts is amazing. Sadly, many of the people in this small town do not see their thoughts as horrific and I think that lends to the horror even more. We do not see our own demons but it sure is easy to see and point out someone else’s!

I really enjoyed Scout’s narration. Although she is young she has a view that is like a child but also more adult than her age portrays. Her adolescence lends even more to the story because her simple questions are not meant to provoke and hurt the people around her but they do because she is getting to the middle of the injustice of their thoughts. She does not realize this but her father, Atticus, can see that she is starting to form her own opinions and as her father he does everything he can to teach her the ways of the world without her being affected by them. A fine line!

Atticus is a wonderful example of a loving father. He wants to do everything for his children. He is also loving of the town’s people and does not try to parade in front of them when he takes the case. To defend a black man in this little town is to sign your own death warrant. The rest of the book is about how much he wants his children to understand his choices and he stands by them, no matter what happens. Not once does he belie his own integrity for the honor of the people within the town.

For such a short book there is a lot of depth in the plots. So much to look forward to in our book club! I cannot wait to talk to my family about their feelings, likes, and dislikes! I think this is one that will stick with us for a long time.

 

The author kitty

 

About Harper Lee

Harper Lee, known as Nelle, was born in the Alabama town of Monroeville, the youngest of four children of Amasa Coleman Lee and Frances Cunningham Finch Lee. Her father, a former newspaper editor and proprietor, was a lawyer who served on the state legislature from 1926 to 1938. As a child, Lee was a tomboy and a precocious reader, and enjoyed the friendship of her schoolmate and neighbor, the young Truman Capote.

After graduating from high school in Monroeville, Lee enrolled at the all-female Huntingdon College in Montgomery (1944-45), and then pursued a law degree at the University of Alabama (1945-50), pledging the Chi Omega sorority. While there, she wrote for several student publications and spent a year as editor of the campus humor magazine, "Ramma-Jamma". Though she did not complete the law degree, she studied for a summer in Oxford, England, before moving to New York in 1950, where she worked as a reservation clerk with Eastern Air Lines and BOAC.

Lee continued as a reservation clerk until the late 50s, when she devoted herself to writing. She lived a frugal life, traveling between her cold-water-only apartment in New York to her family home in Alabama to care for her father.

Having written several long stories, Harper Lee located an agent in November 1956. The following month at the East 50th townhouse of her friends Michael Brown and Joy Williams Brown, she received a gift of a year's wages with a note: "You have one year off from your job to write whatever you please. Merry Christmas."

Within a year, she had a first draft. Working with J. B. Lippincott & Co. editor Tay Hohoff, she completed To Kill a Mockingbird in the summer of 1959. Published July 11, 1960, the novel was an immediate bestseller and won great critical acclaim, including the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1961. It remains a bestseller with more than 30 million copies in print. In 1999, it was voted "Best Novel of the Century" in a poll by the Library Journal.

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