To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird, 50th Anniversary Edition - Harper Lee

I seem to have had a run of good books recently and this one was no exception. I may have read this one in the past, but I didn’t feel any re-collection in the far-reaching corners of my mind while reading, so I assume that somehow this American classic passed me by. Thank God I’ve rectified that now.


Due to the fact that so much has already been said about this book, I don’t feel there’s much to be gained by me going into it at length, so I’ll just say a few key things.


First off, as I said, I loved it. It was one of those books that really makes you think and even though it was written so long ago, nothing about the idiosyncrasies of the time frustrated me or in any way negated my thorough enjoyment of it.


Set between the years of 1933-35, the story is told from the perspective of six-year-old Jean-Louise Finch a.k.a Scout. The story is centred on Scout and her brother, Jem, whose lawyer father, Atticus, represents a black man accused of rape.


This book tackled weighty issues alongside the unrelenting heat of their home town of Maycomb, but it had such warmth and humour that it never felt like too much. I don’t think there can be any bigger endorsement made for a book than to say that it changed me, in the way that Catcher in the Rye did. The lessons it taught and the humanity present made a lasting impression on me.


A mark of a fantastic book is when details that appear to lack significance, later flare into consciousness once again and change the landscape of the narrative. This happened many times here and to great effect.


The characters were fantastic, and as I said, gave a humour and warmth to the novel that I’ll never forget. I’ve begun reading Go Set a Watchman and will let you know soon how I’m getting on.