Monday, July 26, 2010

To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

*Spoiler Alert! If you have not read this book, go out right now and buy a copy!*

Happy 50th Anniversary, To Kill a Mockingbird! I celebrated it by going to a TKMB panel/movie screening with my pal Ezzy, and re-reading this beloved tome. It's a whole different experience reading it as an adult than reading it as a teen in high school. If I loved it then, it has now surpassed "love" and gone straight into complete and utter amazement and adoration.

Harper Lee is a fantastic writer. She really pulls you in, almost like she's in the room with you, having tea, just chatting about her childhood. "Oh, you know, my brother Jem broke his arm when he was almost 13; here's what happened..." She gives you just the right amount of details and really does an excellent job of showing the sentiments of Maycomb County in the mid-1930's.

Oh, and her vocabulary! I know an 7-year-old would not usually say words like "prowess" and "undulate" and "immaterial", but the way I understood the story was she was an adult, looking back on what happened to her as a child. There were even a couple of times I had to look up a word or two. Even with the 10-cent words, the story had a smooth flow to it and the mix of adult language with childish Southern lingo works incredibly well.

And, once again, even though it's the second time I've read the book, I always hope the jury announces "Not Guilty". It absolutely breaks my heart. As does Boo Radley, to be shut up in that house. When he says "Will you walk me home?" my heart lurches. This story has always and will always move me and make me wonder how people can be so cruel.

Thank you, Ms Lee, for writing this book. It's a novel that everyone should read and everyone gets something out of it. I will probably read it again in the next 10 years or so and will probably even then find some new insight.

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