This is a fantastic book, which I love. It is one of those classics that I actually did read (and I even remember it!) in high school. The story of the Finch family and their small Alabama town of Maycomb is one that everyone can relate to in one way or another. Lee does a beautiful job of telling the story of the family and the town without directly telling you. The descriptions and anecdotes of the book are my favorite part. It's like getting a glimpse of someone's life without them telling you every detail, just by observing. Lee makes us feel like we've observed and absorbed this small town story.
I wanted to take this opportunity to address all of the challenges that I have signed up for. This is the first book that I have completed for one of those challenges. Challenges are hosted by various bloggers, and are a fun way to get ideas for reading, as well as a way to discuss lots of interesting books with lots of interesting people. Most of the challenges I'm participating in don't actually start until January, but a few have already begun. This book qualifies for the Martel-Harper challenge.
The Martel-Harper challenge refers to a unique relationship between a writer and a politician. The relationship is actually almost 100% one-sided, but it is a relationship nonetheless. Yann Martel is the author, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is the politician. For months now, Martel has been sending Harper two books a month, enclosing a letter with each one to explain why he feels Harper should read it (read more about it here). The challenge is simply to choose two of those books each quarter to read. Here is the letter that Martel included with To Kill A Mockingbird.