After being vaguely aware of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird for years, I finally decided to check it out from the library and read it. I am so glad I did. Brilliantly written, I don't think a brief summary could ever do it justice. It "preaches" but it does so in a way that is hopeful and uncynical. It entertains without making light of sin or pretending that it is all okay or that nothing can be done about it anyway. It is a book that should empower us to look for good in others but make the right decision even when they let us down.
the author handled dark subject matter delicately by allowing the main
voice to be that of a child. We enjoy the play of children, the pleasure
of reading with a parent, and a first snowstorm (and a snowman made out
of more dirt than snow) and are led gently into more serious matters.
was fun to be inside Jean Louise "Scout" Finch's mind and discover her
world with her. I never knew how she would respond. Tenacious, bold, and
active, she is also a thinker who wants to understand a world that
doesn't always make sense. I appreciate how "real" she is in that she
is not a perfect little girl. She is not completely free of the
prejudices that filtered through from neighbors, school, and friends.
Yet, she wrestles with the big questions and allows herself to find a
more loving answer based on truth instead of fear or wrongly placed
First published the year my parents were born (1960), I feel the world is a better place because of To Kill a Mockingbird.
I know our country has a ways to go when it comes to racism and
superiority complexes based on silly things like how long your family
has lived in one place or how much money you have, but reading Harper
Lee's novel made me see the great progress we have made as a nation.
...Progress I don't always see because of how "normal" my own attitudes
and community are to me.
And, although the ending is not a simplistically happy one, evil does not win. Justice is served. Hope for the future survives.