Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Book Review - To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mocking bird - Harper Lee. (Re-read)

When asked what my favourite book is, I always state that it is impossible for me to answer such a question but "to kill a mocking bird" is definitively up there. I studied it in school and it was one of the few books that I actually enjoyed writing essays on.

I recently convinced my brother-in-law in read it and he loved it. It got me thinking. I loved the book when I was 17. How would I regard it as a 33 year old Dad with my own children?

The blurb:

"Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird". This is a lawyer's advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of this story - a black man charged with raping a white girl in the Deep South of the 1930s.

The answer to my question was that I was incredibly disappointed. Nah, just kidding. If possible I loved the book more.

I found Scout's exploits with Jem and Dillon nostalgic. They capture childhood perfectly. Scott's views on school and her neighbour's are endearing. They are so innocently observed but at the same time have an honest common sense to them. As a 17 year old I wanted to return to my childhood after reading this book, as a 33 year old, I want to do the same.

More importantly, I want to be the type of Father to my boys that Atticus is. Subtle, moralistic, but approachable, Atticus believes in teaching his children right from wrong, whilst at the same time letting them find they're own way.

The second half of the novel concentrates on the trial of a Negro accused of assaulting a white woman.  It is through the build up to the trial and the trial itself that Scout and Jem are able to learn about the injustice that exists in the world and why it important to still try and make that difference.

To kill a mocking bird has so many great moments: Atticus and the rabid dog; Jem and Mrs Dubose's punishment and of course Boo Radley that I could literally hurl superlatives at it all day.

All I will say that this is and will always be one of my favourite books of all time. Read it if you haven't, re-read it if you have.

My Rating: 9.8

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