Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)

Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)
Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Book Review Wednesday by Joanna

To Kill A Mockingbird
By Harper Lee (1960)

Review by Joanna

Any old writer can create a memorably evil character, but writing about goodness in an interesting and compelling way is much, much harder. One of the many reasons I love To Kill a Mockingbird is that Harper Lee is interested in human integrity, courage and compassion as well as prejudice, violence and lies. But while the book packs an incredible moral punch, the message never gets in the way of the story.

To Kill a Mockingbird is told from the perspective of Scout Finch, a young girl living in southern America, whose father Atticus is the local lawyer. From Scout’s curious and passionate (and very funny!) perspective we learn about the characters, idiosyncrasies and divisions within her small town. When a young black man is accused of rape, Atticus fights local racism to defend the man’s right to a free and fair trial.

This book could have been a clich├ęd account of heroes versus villains, but all of Lee’s characters are real – flawed, inconsistent, but sometimes making hard choices to do the right thing. For those of us with stereotypical ideas about the American south, this is also a love letter to the south, tenderly describing its virtues while unflinchingly facing its vices. Somehow I got to my thirties without reading this book – if you haven’t read it yet, don’t wait any longer!

Thanks for the review, Jo! T.K.A.M. is definitely in my top 3 favourite books of all time.