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Sycamore Row (The Jake Brigance) Mass Market Paperback – August 19, 2014
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"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Pre-order today
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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.
Be aware, however, If you pick up Sycamore Row because you anticipate it to be as entralling and exciting as A Time To Kill, you are liable to be a bit disappointed. The plot of Sycamore Row is built around a handwritten will prepared shortly before a very ill, very wealthy man from small town Clanton, Mississippi kills himself and leaves the vast majority of his large estate to his African-American maid and nothing to his children and grandchildren. Lawyer Jake Brigance, the hero from A Time To Kill, is hired as the lawyer for the estate to make sure that the dead man's directions are carried out exactly as instructed. This is definitely a challenging case for Brigance as, expected, each of the children and grandchildren hire their own lawyers to contest the will. While this plot is interesting and Grisham does a good job in making the reader feel a sense of "being there'' throughout the book, Sycamore Row does not have the thrills often evident in a Grisham legal thriller, and certainly not like in A Time To Kill.
Further, while never boring to me, I felt that the pace of the book slowed down more times than I would have liked during a good portion of the middle of the book. I felt that if the book was 50-75 pages or so shorter, my attention span would have always stayed at a high level, rather than fluctuating as often as it did. Nevertheless, Sycamore Row is an entertaining read worthy of your consideration -- as long as you don't expect a book filled with non-stop thrills and surprises.
Many of the old characters from A Time to Kill are here, but the setting is different. Jake Brigance is still trying to rebuild his life after the Klan burned down his home and the insurance company has been stalling for three years as to the payoff. What Jake needs is an infusion of cash, what he did not expect was how the suicide and holographic will of a much disliked man was going to change everything.
Money changes people and when Henry Seth Hubbard, a white man, leaves the majority of his estate to his housekeeper Lettie Lang, a black woman, all hell breaks loose as anyone and everyone has an opinion as to why.
As a reader, a personal relationship between the two seemed too obvious and Mr. Grisham is a much better writer than that, so I began to jump to my own conclusions. Of course, I was wrong and the truth behind the largess is stunning. I reread that part twice and I swear I did not breathe either time.
Say what you will about John Grisham, but this man can write a courtroom drama. What unfolds in both the legal arena and the lives of those involved is both stupefying and mesmerizing. The people, the personalities, the humor, it all rings true. Bad choices are made that can derail the whole thing, but when you are fighting for the wishes of one man, a man with a secret that must be told, there is no stopping Jake in his fight for his client.
Most recent customer reviews
Now open my new book please what else have you written Mr grisham? Loved your book very suspenseful yeah
Will reorder again