To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee
1961 Pulitzer Prize
4 stars - at last
ALR Green - one sick dog gets put down, no other animal scenes
Finally, a Pulitzer worth reading. Are there really folks out there who haven't heard of Atticus Finch?
This story takes place over the period of a few years and is narrated by Scout Finch, daughter of Atticus. During the events in the book, Scout is somewhere between 5-9 years old. Her brother, Jem, is four years older.
Jem and Scout are being raised by their widowed father, Atticus, in a small community in southern Alabama. Atticus is an attorney and the big thing in the book is that he is assigned to defend a black man who is accused of raping a white woman.
That brings me to one of the best things about this book. The trial and the events both before and after are very serious business, but remember that this book is narrated by a child and for once the author does not attempt to give the child the wisdom of an adult. So as Scout watches events unfold, she is curious, bored, frightened, amused, but never really grasps the full extent of what her father has taken on. Which leads to the second best thing about the book. The trial is just one of many things that happen in Scout's life. Some events are big, some small, but her life moves on and it was quite satisfying that the author avoided turning the book into a single topic.
Atticus does get to do some grandstanding in court, but we only hear that because Scout is there.
OK, I really do have more wise words, somewhere, but I'm still struggling with a head cold and the effort of coherent thought is exhausting me.