“To Kill a Mockingbird” Harper Lee (1960); 284 pages.
Started January 5, finished January 20.
It is almost embarassing that I hadn’t already read this. Especially because I live in Alabama, know relatives of Harper Lee, and have had a paperback copy of this novel accompany me on at least half a dozen trips in the past 8 years. But something else always jumped ahead in the queue. Finally, a few weeks ago, I decided it was finally time. So I started…. and got sidetracked by a bunch of projects, including planning a big inauguration day party. But when Josh went to DC I was able to read until 1 am without getting in reprimanded, and in two nights, I read three-quarters of the book. I’m betting you already know what this is about… a brave girl and her brother come of age in small-town, depression-era Alabama. They witness their brilliant and good-hearted lawyer father (the famous Atticus Finch) defend a black man accused of attempted rape. It is a grim picture indeed of race relations in the south. (And alas, I can attest that even almost 50 years after the book was published, things are still from perfect here.) I didn’t purposely complete the novel on Jan 20, but it did feet good to finish it, then go turn on the news, and know that Harper Lee was watching too.