Book Review: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Hey people,

Its time for another review today. I had been reading To Kill A Mockingbird for a while now (as updated in my post here). And what a book it was! It had been a while since I was amazed by a book AND the author (like Agatha Christie). Without further rant, let me get into the details of the book.

Name of the book: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Genre:

Fiction

Characters:

Atticus Finch, Jean Louise ‘Scout’ Finch, Jem Finch and other supporting characters.

What is To Kill A Mockingbird about?

This novel is perhaps one of the most widely read book on racism and inequality. It was published in 1960 and became commercially and critically successful. It went on to win Pulitzer price which it deserved and became one of the classic novels in the American literature. Harper Lee based the plot loosely on the events she had witnessed as a child growing in Alabama. To Kill A Mockingbird narrates the story through the innocent eyes of Jean Louise Finch, a 6 year old girl who lives in a fictional town called Maycomb in Alabama with her father, a middle-aged lawyer and widower Atticus Finch and her brother Jem Finch. Lee, through the voice of a 6 year old, describes a story of a black man accused of raping a white woman in Maycomb. Atticus Finch agrees to defend the black man in the trial and all hell breaks loose as the town goes against him calling him a “nigger-lover”, harassing him and his kids to force him to step back.

What did I enjoy in To Kill A Mockingbird?

I loved that Lee used her childhood memories as a plot to the story which made it appear very genuine and very-well written. She has also used the Alabamian touch to narrate the story with the authentic Alabamian accent. The protagonist, Atticus Finch, may not be the cool dad you’d want him to be while raising 2 kids, but he is an ideal Dad in every way, who makes sure that the kids grow up with strong morale and liberal view, yet rooted to the ground. Scout, the story-teller, has an innocent view to what one may call, a tragic story and Lee has used humor in Scout’s voice to narrate the same. There was no other way Harper Lee could have told this story except Scout herself. One can easily relate Scout to a younger version of Lee. Jem, an ideal son, follows the path set by his father and tries to control his reckless sister when in need.

Some of the quotes from To Kill A Mockingbird that I loved:

“Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”

“It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived.”

“The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”

“Best way to clear the air is to have it all out in the open.”

“This time we aren’t fighting the Yankees, we’re fighting our friends. But remember this, no matter how bitter things get, they’re still our friends and this is still our home.”

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

“Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”

What did I not love in To Kill A Mockingbird?

Though one can see the innocent views of Scout Finch on the whole story, one may still be doubtful whether 6-8 year olds are capable of comprehending the situation as well as the characters in the book. Nevertheless, the doubt comes and goes within minutes and you will immerse yourself in the book again in no-time 

Who would love To Kill A Mockingbird?

One who would love to read books which addresses the issues in the society.

Who would not?

If you are only into fantasy-fiction and not something that could be based on real-life events addressing social issues, then you might not like the book.

Would I recommend To Kill A Mockingbird to anyone?

Yes. In fact, it should be in everyone’s list of “books to read before I die”. Let’s face it, racism and inequality still kinda exists in every society (as much as corruption). But to address it back then (in 1960s), it needed every ounce of courage, when it was rooted so deep in the society. That’s precisely what Lee and her novel’s characters have shown. So yes, definitely give this book a read.

Rating (Out of 5)

I bought my copy of the book from amazon here.

Have you read To Kill A Mockingbird yet? Leave your thoughts as a comment below!

Image source: here

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
To Kill A Mockingbird
Author Rating
5

Anuradha

A lover of books, travel, friends and family (in no particular order). She was a techie by profession, now a traveler and a reader by passion. You can check out her travel blog: http://blog.travelhighway.com

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