To Kill a Mockingbird

Given everything in the news over the last few weeks I felt it was only appropriate to read this classic by Harper Lee. There is nothing more relaxing and homely than reading this book and having read it once for GCSE (the struggle of anatating every blooming word) I swallowed this book whole in about two days this time around. I would just like to note a review I read this week that said this book deserved no stars and I was appalled! Let me know if that was you or if we agree.

The blurb reads: A lawyer’s advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee’s classic novel – a black man charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with exuberant humour the irrationality of adult attitudes to race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina of one man’s struggle for justice. But the weight of history will only tolerate so much.

I give Mockingbird 4/5 for how put-down-able it was. It took a while to get started because it’s written from the point of view of Scout, the six year old girl. Lee writes in a very childish, yet brilliantly observant, manner which takes a bit of getting used to with the Southern American accent.

This book gets 5/5 for characters. It’s so subtle in the way it introduces characters throughout the book, especially Atticus (Scout’s dad) who is barely mentioned and then becomes incredibly important without you even realising. Because the story is told from Scout’s perception, it would be easy to know little about Atticus or any other character and yet Lee has written her in a way that makes her incredibly perceptive and character-aware (also, by the end of this book, you want Atticus to be your dad/uncle. Anyone else find this? Comment below!).

I give this classic 5/5 for originality. Without being too obvious, this book takes you on a very unexpected journey that twists in ways you didn’t see coming. The writing is so fluent and constant that you barely notice a massive plot turn (I had to re-read several times).

Overall, this book gets 4/5. My only slight complaint, which is barely one at all is that it does take quite a lot to get used to the writing style and I did have to keep going back to try and understand where the story was headed (although I may have lost concentration trying to spot the Jem, Scout, Boo and Atticus named cats at my boyfriend’s house as I was reading).

Thank you for reading and check this blog out next week for my review of ‘Charlotte Gray’ by good old Sebastian. Comment below if you agree or disagree with my review of this book and DEFINITELY write something if you know cats named after these characters (amazing!).

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