Monday 9 April 2007

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

I have determined that I am the only person in the world that has not read this book. Apparently, it is part of the UK school curriculum so when I recommended this to the book group all the British women had already read it. Then Janell gave this book high praise indeed when she cited it as one of her favourites. Even my sister had read it. I felt really ignorant and knew I missed some memorandum.

The book started slowly for me and at page 60 I was wondering what all the fuss was about. I thought about it and ascertained that I had been reading all of these page turners and that I needed to slow down. Many modern books are aimed at making you want to read the story fast and furiously. This was the equivalent of learning to appreciate a piece of music that isn't aimed at the MTV five minute attention span audience. You need to read this book slow and steady, taking in the subtle language and lessons. Once I got into the swing of things I really started to enjoy it.

And then I turned a corner and couldn't put the thing down. Harper Lee weaves the story of the black man's trial into the every day life of these children. The impact of their father's actions infiltrates who they are destined to become. The story burns slowly and then explodes with sadness and disappointment at how prejudice about race and colour and class was and still is. The message is as relevant today as it was when it was first written 60 years ago.

I loved this book and if by some horrible failure of the education system you have not had the pleasure of reading it, Do So NOW!


Janell said...

I'm glad you enjoyed my favorite book. There is something very profound about the observation of "man's inhumanity to man" from the child's point of view. The old movie with Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch is also excellent.

LaDawn said...

Will add the film to my must see list!