I finally read Harper Lee’s famous novel To Kill a Mockingbird. I know, I know, you read it in high school along with the rest of the nation. But believe it or not, it somehow evaded me in my earlier years. (The lady on the plane next to me last week looked down at what I was reading and said with incredulity, “Didn’t you read that in high school?!” As if you can’t read a good book more than once and at different times in your life. Brent was sure to inform her that I had not, but that he had provided me with a copy to rectify the situation.) Anyway, it held up to its “mandatory reading” status and I loved it.
The story is told from the perspective of a young girl, a child that sees the world in a simplistic and honest way that many adults around her somehow don’t understand. The lighter side of the book is filled with childhood wanderings and summer games, imaginary tales of mysterious neighbors and run-ins with unique townsfolk. On the heavier side you are confronted with issues of race and equality, integrity and honor. The well-developed characters seem to have become commonplace in our culture. Characters like Boo-Radley and Atticus Finch (names I was familiar with even before picking up the book).
The story’s development and flow is entertaining and captivating. Similar to the pleasures of reading Huck Finn, this book brings back the essence of youth and innocent thought. If you’re like me and were somehow skipped by the public school system, read the book for the first time and I promise you’ll enjoy it. If you’re among the legions who’ve already been forced into reading the book for academia, read it again anyway. It’s that good.