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.