To Kill a Mockingbird ~ Harper Lee

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This is a book from my TBR 2015 challenge. A well-loved classic, particularly in the US, less so in the UK, that I had never read, but which was recommended to me by many people. I picked it up in a charity shop a few years ago and this month finally got the chance to read it. There is little I can say about it that hasn’t been said before, but my personal reaction was that I loved it.

I loved the way Harper Lee painted the characters, especially Scout and Jem and their antics, so clearly it was as if I had watched a film of them. You don’t feel like you are reading a book, so seamlessly does the author transition from one scene to the next. I was completely immersed. Even as if I had been there playing in the dust, snipping the tops of Mrs Dubose’s Camellias, or struggling along in the dark dressed as a joint of ham.

I could relate to the childhood pain and confusion at having to witness the often incomprehensible choices that humans make. Of learning to live in a world where bad things happen. But also where good things happen too. The value of community struck me – as well as its petty prejudices.

There are many miles in distance and time between the setting of this book and my life here in contemporary Britain. Despite this, To Kill a Mockingbird gets to the essence of the human condition in such a realistic and warm way, that I know it is a book that will stay with me for a very long time.

9 thoughts on “To Kill a Mockingbird ~ Harper Lee

  1. I read this a few years ago an my reaction was pretty much the same as yours! I think Lee’s observation of all the small things really help to make this feel a lot more realistic and make Scout’s POV more relatable. I know what you mean about this being less well known in the UK – like, it’s obviously still well know, but I know a lot of people read it at school in the US which we certainly didn’t!

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  2. No I don’t think it’s on any UK school reading lists… I suppose they focus more on British authors. It would still be a good choice for here though – as it’s told from a child’s eye view and covers some important issues no matter where you live.

    I see Harper Lee is releasing her second book in July – the sequel to Mockingbird ‘Go Set a Watchman’. Should be an interesting read.

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  3. Glad you enjoyed this Kim – I’m thinking of putting this on my list of classic books to read, as I haven’t read it either. Sounds like a good one!

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