It is said that this book covers her own childhood but as far as I know she never officially confirmed this. It was released in 1960 and have won the Pulitzer Prize immediately. Wikipedia says it have 281 pages, but my paperback has 376 pages.
It is a fantastic novel about a little girl as main character. It takes place in
the early 20th century in a small town in the USA. It is full of racistic actions and
statements, prejudice and gender roles by all kind of people. Only she and her closest family (brother and
father) are not like that. The main plot is that a black man is accused to have
raped and beat a young woman. He gets the death sentence even if he were not be
able to do this physically and her father, also a heavy drinker, is more obvious the suspect of doing the
crime. The lawyer of the black man is the father of the little girl and all people
are against them and are generally against the blacks. ‘Nigger lover’ for example
is often said in this book. The black man gets killed before he is on the turn to his sentence.
He gets shot after it is said that he wanted to break out of prison but it is obvious that
he get just killed by the guards. After that the both kids of the lawyer who
defend the black man were attacked in the dark from the man who obvious raped his
daughter and beat her up on the way home, but fortunately
there was a man who defend them and might killed the attacker.
The sheriff decided that the attacker is fallen on his own knife, because he is
responsible for the dead of the innocent black man:
Let the dead bury the dead this time.
I love the naive view of things of the little lady on serious topics like racism and tolerance. I also like the relationship to her father who is really not good in relationships with children, but try to explain them everything they need to know and they want to know. The whole relationship is very formal, but eventually this is normal for this time. For example the both kids address their father as ‘sir’. It is full of childish love and good childish minds. The kids are very clever for their age because they learned to read and write very early, which is very nice. I must admit that the writing style is sometimes a little annoying, mostly when the less educated people are speaking, but certainly that is because I’m not a native English speaker.
All in all I would say it is a really great novel and one of the ones which should be read by everyone. It is sure on of my favourite books.
Today I decided to add a favourite quote of the book I write about here, so I just choose on which I remembered because I just decided it now :)
Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.