To Kill a Mockingbird
By Harper Lee
My Rating: 5 Stars
Probably one of the greatest stories in American literature, To Kill a Mockingbird, is a must read for everyone and anyone. I’m embarrassed to admit that I waited until I was in my late thirties to read this great american classic. This was an amazing, astounding, engrossing and truly perfect read. I get it now. Winner of Pulitzer Prize, voted the best novel of the twentieth century by librarians and made into a hugely popular movie, this is the quintessential read about race, prejudice and violence in the deep south during the 1930’s. This book deserve every piece of praise that gets thrown at it.
Scout and Jem Finch are children growing up in the deep south in the 1930’s. Their father Atticus, is a lawyer who tries to instill in them a deep and unwavering conscience about life and toward all men. While Atticus teaches his children tolerance, their small town of Maycomb, Alabama is faced with a horrid crime, the rape of a white girl. The accused is a black man, whom Atticus is appointed to defend. As anger and the need for justice rises, the residents of their small southern town target those they feel don’t support their ideology and Atticus, Scout and Jem find themselves on the recieving end of their neighbors anger.
I’m not entirely sure how I went almost 40 years and never had to read this book. It saddens me to think I was never made to read this throughout my many years of study. It was a truly amazing story and probably one of the most profound books I’ve ever read. Deeply moving, highly addictive and all around one of the greatest books I’ve every read.
I actually listened to the audio of this book rather than reading it. Not because I didn’t want to read it, but because I saw that the audio was narrated by Sissy Spacek and I knew that she would likely do a fabulous job in reading the book with that quintessential south drawl. And I wasn’t mistaken, this may be the best narration of a book I’ve ever listened to. Even if you’ve read the book, I highly suggest you listen to the audio with her narrating. I think you’ll find a whole new level of appreciation of this book. She truly makes Scout come alive.
I set out my year to read more classic works and I’m glad this was one of my top picks. I was not disappointed. I understand completely why this is considered the best novel of the twentieth century by librarians. Being a librarian myself, I can’t disagree with this decision. If you haven’t read this book you need to, and you need to do it now. Make it your next read. It’ll be worth it, I guarantee. You are going to fall in love with Scout, Boo Radley and Atticus. And if you’ve read it, I suggest you read it again and relive this book from start to finish.