To Kill A Mockingbird. Harper Lee.


I was halfway through this last time we spoke. I watched The Good Wife on Friday night and noticed that Alicia was watching Gregory Peck in the movie. Sales figures for the book have rocketed by 6,600 % since February. I guess I’m not alone then.

I have a bad habit of reading too quickly, just gobbling up a story as quickly as I can. I was determined to savour this one so I paced myself.

I sat in bed on Saturday morning and read the court scene. Husband brought me coffee and found me teary-eyed. I tried to read Reverand Syke’s line aloud for him,

‘Miss Jean Louise, stand up. Your father’s passin’.’

but I couldn’t get it out and had to pass him the book instead. Well, that’s that, I thought, what more can happen? I drank my coffee and started work on our bathroom. We had decided that we would, finally, put a bit of effort into pretty-ing up our en-suite.

I painted what felt like two acres of tongue-and-groove timber panelled ceiling feeling forlorn.IMG_4758

I took a coffee break and got as far as,

Atticus said that Jem was trying hard to forget about something, but what he was really doing was storing it away for a while, until enough time passed. Then he would be able to think about it and sort things out. When he was able to think about it, Jem would be himself again.

I took time to think about it while I painted two louvre doors.IMG_4759By this time, I had recovered emotionally and I was falling  in love with Atticus Finch. It was lunchtime. I sat in my painting clothes on a dust sheet and I read to the end. I closed the book and set back to work at painting the walls.IMG_4761Snow blindness was setting in at this stage and I felt vaguely euphoric (probably the fumes). I was unsettled by the coincidence of people are nice turning up in the last paragraph (see previous post). Beyond that I was fit to burst with admiration for this book.

I didn’t expect it to feel so completely modern. The language is simple. The story is timeless. I didn’t expect it to be so suspenseful. Reading it felt as hot and sticky and scary as watching True Detective. I didn’t expect it to be so funny. The laughs are backed up so tight against the darkness in a sort of literary chiaroscuro. Expanding bubbles of horror are burst with a chuckle.

Robert E. Lee Ewell

That was my favourite.

I am now completely in love with Atticus Finch. I will love him forever, like Fitzwilliam Darcy, Jay Gatsby and Neville Longbottom.

I will need to read this book again, and probably again after that.

What more can I say?


2 thoughts on “To Kill A Mockingbird. Harper Lee.

  1. Oddly enough, I only read this book last year, too, and I put my review on Amazon and Goodreads (under my own name on Amazon, not pen name, Millie Thom.) I loved it and wondered why I’d put off reading it for so long. I’ve never seen the film, either. Atticus Finch is wonderful. A great American classic.

    Liked by 1 person

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