“Atticus, are we going to win?” “No, honey.” “Then why –” “Simply because we’re licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win,” Atticus said. (84)
I find it far harder to review a book that I’ve read (and loved) more than once, than one I’ve only thought okay – is that strange?
I read To Kill a Mockingbird for the first time in my Year 10 English class and, more than the book itself, I remember best my teacher’s utter devotion to the novel – or, more accurately, to Atticus Finch. I reread it for book club last month (again, alongside some Atticus devotees) and fell in love with it all over again.
For those of you who don’t know the story (and you really should read it!), it is set in the deep south of the 1930s and told through the perspective of Scout Finch (then six). Her father, Atticus, is assigned the defence of one Tom Robinson, a young negro man charged with the rape of a white girl, Mayella Ewell. Scout and her brother Jem, both too young to completely comprehend the situation and the implications thereof, are placed in the position of dealing with the fall out of such a case; forced to grow up just a little quicker while learning some of the world’s harsh realities.
What can I say about this book other than to recommend your reading it? I loved the characters, all – wise, innocent, kindly and cruel – I loved the small town and their range of relationships. I love Scout’s fights, Jem’s cranks, and Atticus’ morality.
Diane asked what I thought of the movie. I did watch the movie also before going to book club, and while I did enjoy it, I don’t think it can stand up to the novel (does any movie made of a book ever really?). I thought the film was (perhaps understandably) too compressed. All the lovely little moments from the book were either removed or combined with others. So while I’d still give a good recommendation of the film, I’d have to hand it over with the book at the same time. 5/5