To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, (my edition) published June 2010 by Arrow Books.
Read: April 2015
Genre: Young Adult/Classics/Historical
Get It Now: Wordery
Goodreads Synopsis: ‘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 mockingbird of Harper Lee’s classic novel – a black man charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young 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.
Ugh. This book was SO good. I’d always considered To Kill A Mockingbird a classic, and because of my general aversion for classics, I stayed away from it. It wasn’t part of my curriculum when I studied English Literature at school, but when I started my blog I wanted to get to grips with more classics, to at least try them and see if there were any I enjoyed. This book hit the jackpot for me and I’m unbelievably chuffed to have discovered it! A witty and thought-provoking anti-racism novel, with wonderful characters, which I would call ahead of its time.
It took me a little while to get accustomed to the style of this book, even though it is described as being “young adult”, I don’t think the writing is comparable to a modern YA novel. However, once I got used to the writing style, I was sold – hook, line and sinker. I felt like I flew through this novel, I was so engrossed with the characters and their lives, and I absolutely adore Scout and Atticus. A-DORE. Lee is just such a fantastic storyteller, and I’m sad this is the only book she has released (we’ll discuss the sequel to To Kill A Mockingbird later…).
Racial prejudice is clearly paramount to the story, but while reading the book, I was often made to feel uncomfortable by the language used, and by some of the events of the novel. Which, I suppose is a good thing, when you think about it – and most likely the very point Lee is trying to make. I love that along with the hard-hitting message of the book, Lee also manages to weave mystery, nostalgia, childhood innocence, and emotionally hard-hitting events throughout. It really was perfection, and such a surprisingly accessible read for a classic. I’d also like to add that the cover of my edition definitely encapsulates Scout!
Although there is controversy surrounding the release of the sequel (I do plan to do a full discussion on this later), I will be reading it. Not because I agree with the methods used to publish it (which I need to investigate further for my discussion), but because with writing as good as this, it would be a crime to miss out on more of it.
Have you read To Kill A Mockingbird? Is it worth seeing the movie? What other classics would you recommend I read based on this review? Let me know in the comments. Happy reading, Book Geeks!