My rating: 3 of 5 stars
⭐️⭐️⭐️ A Maycomb County, Alabama widower Atticus Finch, and his two children, Jem (Jeremy) and Scout (Jean Louise), are the main characters. The daughter, 8-year old Scout is the narrator. (I had trouble believing the narrator was an 8-year old kid. The language was too mature to believe a young child was talking.) The story centered around their family and the environment in which they lived. The father, who his kids called “Atticus”, was a lawyer and did his best to raise his children in a place where racism was prevalent. The children were bright, curious, and mischievous; typical youngsters who took pleasure in exploring their surroundings. The townsfolk, a colorful mix of characters included: the gossip, the creepy neighbor, the downtrodden, the ailing, the wise woman, and a few others who all had an influence on Jem and Scout in one way or other. Another character, Dill, was Jem and Scout’s neighbor and friend who came to stay with his aunt Rachel in Maycomb County every summer, and who spent a great deal of time with Jem and Scout. Eventually Jem and Scout’s aunt Alexandra comes to live with them to teach Scout how to be a lady and to help out with raising the children in general. As the story continues we witness the kids’ childhood antics, the overt racism that pervades the town, the case involving a black man that Atticus defends, the repercussions of that case, and how the children are affected by it.
I keep asking myself why with over 2.2 million votes on Goodreads, resulting in a 4+ star rating, did I not absolutely love this book? After all, it’s a classic. Everyone on the planet, it seems, has read it and yet I couldn’t wait to finish it so I could move on to something else. Now don’t get me wrong, Harper Lee knows how to tell a story. A few of the admirable characters would occasionally utter a good lesson to remember. I learned a thing or two from Atticus (my favorite character), Miss Maudie and even old, mean Ms. Dubose. But I was expecting more. Perhaps it was the setting, Southern Alabama, that I didn’t particularly care for. Or I could be frustrated and tired of reading about the mistreatment of black people and seeing the “n” word repeatedly. I’m not sure what it was, but not once did I feel like I wanted to share parts of To Kill A Mockingbird with anyone. I didn’t feel the desire to talk about it, and I wasn’t overly excited about picking up where I left off. I was reading it with my daughter and yet I never felt the urge to call her and chat about it. The ending was nothing particularly special, and I didn’t feel like anyone in the book was significantly changed by their experiences in any way. I got the impression that things went along as usual, and I prefer to see characters evolve and benefit from their unpleasant experiences. It just wasn’t my cup of tea. I wasn’t particularly inspired by the story overall.