Sunday, January 4, 2015

To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Lawyers, I suppose, were children once.

I'm not sure if I can write a summary for this book. My grandma used to talk about it but I didn't consider reading it until my best friend insisted, telling me it is her favourite book. One can never turn down best friend's favourite books.

The basic summary is a lawyer defending a black man who is accused of raping a white girl. The story is told from the lawyer's daughter's view point. Scout is six or there abouts at the start of the story and nearly ten at the end. Closer to the beginning she talks about her life with her brother and widowed father as she grows up in the south. She lives in a quiet town where everyone knows everyone else and they spread rumors about Scout's mysterious neighbors - the son whom hasn't been seen for years.

The beginning of the book is innocent and carefree. Scout spends her summers with her older brother Jem and best friend Dill. They get into trouble together, dare each other to sneak into the mysterious neighbor's yard, and act out plays and books.
Some of their best adventures and mishaps was the first snow Scout had ever seen. It falls during the night and Jem takes her out in it in the morning but won't let her walk in it because she will waste it. They then ask a neighbor if they can have her snow to build a snowman, piling it together with all the snow from their yard. The whole chapter was adorable and I loved it.
The second I enjoyed was after Jem loses his temper and Atticus, his father, makes him apologize to a lady he held at. Scout is terrified, convinced the lady will shot Jem and Atticus won't care.
Last is after Scout gets mad at a neighbor. She sets up a barricade on her front porch and prepares to shoot the neighbor in the rear - but is stopped by Atticus.

The characters were well done. Atticus is the best fictional father ever - as another friend pointed out and I have to agree with. He understands his children, is patient, and firm when he needs to be. He is an older father so doesn't play things like catch, but is always welcoming when Jem and Scout rush to meet him when he comes home each night. He is quiet and kind of laid back, but not afraid to stand up for things he feels are right. He knows he cannot win in his defense case, but he fights anyways.

Scout is wild and unruly, but in an endearing way. She had moments were she was frightened and where only Atticus could comfort her, but she also had a lot of spunk. I think the story being told from her view point was brilliant since kids see things as more black and white instead of grays.

Jem had the same spunk as Scout. A lot of his endeavors got him into trouble, but when it came down to it he would always stand up for Atticus and Scout, even if he and Scout had their moments of not speaking to each other.

Dill was cute. I loved him. He came up with more schemes then Jem, but there was just something adorable about him. I loved the parts where he told Scout he'd never love anyone but her and would marry her when they were told enough.

After finishing the book I was able to understand why my grandma spoke so highly of it and why my best friend loves it so much. I even have plans to buy my own copy someday. I highly recommend it.

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