Scout Finch and her older brother Jem, spend their days in a small, sleepy town in the American South. Their adventures, including terrorizing the mysterious occupants of the old Radley House, are set against the story of their father, Atticus, battling for the rights of a Negro man accused of rape.
I wanted to read this classic after I read Jasper Jones because it referred to Harper Lee and Atticus Finch the whole way through. It took me some pages to get used to the more classic style of language, but Lee’s writing makes the characters and their 1940’s, deep south, little town come to life. I was swept along portions of the book, carried by suspense and curiosity, while at other times I needed a bit of resilience. Written in the 1960’s, the social and political context of the story is paramount and it’s innocent narrator unveils the complexities of growing up amidst the prejudices and inconsistencies of the adult world. It is a beautiful coming of age story about family ties, loyalty, prejudice, racism, tolerance, understanding, and what it means to be a ‘man.’
Recommended for readers ages 15 and up. I’m giving this poignant novel 4 stars (it’s a classic!).