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Sycamore Row (The Jake Brigance) Mass Market Paperback – August 19, 2014
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If you haven't read "A Time to Kill" yet (or watched the movie), you might want to read it first, because it is equally good and this book will be a bit of spoiler.
With a long of digging and investigating, the brother is found. He had left the area as a child with his mother when his parents divorced and he never set foot in Ford County again. The reason the money is left to the housekeeper is discovered toward the end of the book, and it is a shocker.
Jake remembers his first big win (A Time to Kill) and how it put him and his family in mortal danger from the Klan/ His house had been burned to the ground his family threatened. That memory is still raw and financially they never truly recovered.
The book is set in Mississippi in 1988, and race is an issue. Grisham seems fair in the way he depicts it. There good and bad people and complicated people of both black and white races. The greatest evil is done by some whites.
Maybe the minimum age to read the book should be thirteen. A lot of young people don’t know a lot about the history of race relations in the United States, and they should get some help in understanding it and making sense of it. There is brutality in the book. There is speculation that Seth Hubbard and his black housekeeper were intimate, but no steamy scenes.
I also found the climax and denouement to be a letdown after a big buildup. I was expecting a wallop, and didn’t get it.
That said, Sycamore Row is fine escape reading with a plot that moves along at a nice clip. The book held my interest from beginning to end. In a perfect world I would have read it in one sitting.