I’ve just finished my second book of 2012… “To Kill A Mocking Bird” by Harper Lee – recommended to me by Dave Sowerby.
“To kill a mockingbird is without question my favourite book – which is saying something given how many I’ve read in my life! I think I read it when I was about 11 and I’ve loved it ever since – reading it many many times… The primary plot of the book surrounds the trial of a black man, falsely accused of rape – he is the mockingbird of this tale – a figure of innocence.”
“The story tells not only of racism, but deeper bigotry. So, what touches me most about this book is that it is told from the view point of a child – another example of innocence lost, who questions all that she sees in what is a clearly a very prejudiced world. This view is what I try to cling on to still, we live in a world of presumptions and of closed-mindedness and I try, where ever I can to question what I see and do, not from where society has left me, but from this position of innocence and ignorance, only there can a fair judgement be reached – this is why I still adore this book”
While I agree with Dave that this is a story of innocence in a world of hatred, racism and bigotry I’m afraid I don’t share his obvious passion and connection with the book.
At times I found “To Kill A Mocking Bird” hard to read due to the use of racist language, which I’m glad to say I’m unaccustomed to. I also found the flow of the pages difficult and it took me some time to get used to Harper Lee’s writing style.
Although the moral of the story is good I can’t say I enjoyed the subject matter and throughout the book I had a disjointed understanding of the characters and their adventures. The tree and the hidden objects, Boo Radley, Dill, the court case, always felt disconnected and I was never sure the direction the book would take.
I don’t necessarily believe this is a failing of the book or the author, more a consequence of my process as I deliberately make sure I have as little prior knowledge of the book as possible… Perhaps if I knew this story was a tale of a young girls view of the world and her journey from innocence to maturity I would of made the connection with the disjoint characters – who knows.
Despite my lack of connection with the book I’m glad I’ve had the opportunity to read it and I did enjoy the book for the most part – I’m just not sure I’ll be reading it again and again like Dave.