Eva Jordan reviews…To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee Published by Arrow @penguinrandom

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

It’s a long time since I read a classic and having read a lot of contemporary books of late, I decided I’d like to add a few more classics to my repertoire. Books I’ve promised myself I’d read but have never got round to. This month I chose Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird. An instant success when it was first released in 1960, widely read in schools and a Pulitzer Prize winner, it has become a classic of modern American literature. Therefore, it’s safe to say my expectations were high… I’m relieved to say I wasn’t disappointed.

Set in the sleepy fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama, during the Great Depression of 1930s America, this story centres on the trial of Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a white woman. Narrated in the first person by “Scout” real name Jean Louise Finch, across three years of her life, beginning at age six, the story’s main protagonist looks back in retrospect an unspecified number of years after the events of the novel have taken place. Scout, who also has an older brother, Jeremy “Jem” (a constant playmate and companion), is the daughter of one the town’s well-respected lawyers and hero of this story, Atticus Finch, also defence lawyer for the accused Tom Robinson. Atticus, a widower with a droll sense of humour, has instilled in his children his strong sense of ethics and justice. He is one of the few residents of Maycomb committed to racial equality and when he agrees to defend Tom Robinson, he exposes himself and his family to the anger and prejudices of the white community. However, with his strongly held beliefs, wisdom and compassion, Atticus serves as the novel’s moral backbone.

Beautifully descriptive, with a court scene that evokes all the senses, this is a humorous, nostalgic, innocent, and, as the novel progresses, increasingly dark and foreboding critique of society, including the era it was written in (there was a lot of civil unrest in America during the 1960s) and the time it was set in. To Kill A Mockingbird was a story of its time, however, it was also, in my humble opinion, a story ahead of its time… one that resonates as much now as it did sixty years ago.

Publisher: Arrow; 50th Anniversary edition (2010)

Paperback: 320 pages

2 thoughts on “Eva Jordan reviews…To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee Published by Arrow @penguinrandom

  1. I have yet to read To Kill a Mockingbird, one on my very long to be read list. When I was at school a long while ago we had a reading list of books to read for either our GCE or CSE English exam. I left school at fifteen so didn’t get a GCE English at school I obtained that late. I worked through most of the list after leaving school, the one that had the most lasting effect on me was J D Salinger’s, The Catcher in the Rye.
    There is one song that sums up the awful racial prejudice in the American South, Strange Fruit by Billie Holiday.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s well worth a read Phil, the court scene is brilliantly written and so emotive, I felt as though I was there! I’ve also read The Catcher in the Rye – another great read! Love Billie Holiday but not sure if I’ve heard the song but I’ll definitely be checking it out later!

      Liked by 1 person

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