What’s the story?
To kill a Mockingbird is written by Harper Lee. The story takes place in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama, during the Great Depression. Growing up in a small Southern town, Jem and Scout Finch think they know their family and neighbors. There’s Boo Radley, the neighborhood recluse, whom the children attempt to lure out of hiding. Cranky old Mrs. Dubose is secretly addicted to morphine. Their odd playmate, Dill Harris, comes to stay with his aunt next door each summer and then there’s Atticus, their father, and their hero. At first, barely penetrating their world of treehouses and elaborate reenactments of pulp novels are rumors of a black man accused of raping a white woman. In 1930s Alabama, her accusation all but proves his guilt. Yet lawyer Atticus questions the charge and defends the accused man in a town steeped in prejudice. Through the eyes of the children, as they try to understand the reactions of the townspeople and make sense of the crumbling world around them, the irrationality of racism is laid bare.
To Kill a Mockingbird is one of those books that almost everyone reads at some point in their lives. Whether you’ve been forced to read it at school, or you’ve had a look because everyone’s been urging you to.
This richly textured novel, woven from the strands of small-town life, lets readers walk in the shoes of one fully realized character after another. Jem and Scout see the heart of their town laid bare — divided not just between black and white, but also between the prevailing racism and “the handful of people in this town who say that fair play is not marked White Only.” They get to know the “Negroes in the Quarters,” too, where they are welcomed because their father is a hero, willing to stand up against an entire town on behalf of justice.
They see the evil born of ignorance and squalor. And they see their father, under whose quiet righteousness and gentle civility lives an undemonstrative love that will always be there. With unmatched power of loving wisdom about the human heart, this book is one that no one should miss.