The perfect time to write any book review is obviously right in the middle of a workout, using the gym’s free wifi. I pay 40 dollars a month for this place, i better be able to do my homework here. I just remembered this assignment being due tomorrow and i actually finished my HUGE book.
I read A Time To Kill by John Grisham.
The book is set back in rural Mississippi during a time when segregation was still popular. The story is about a lawyer named Jake who’s job it is to defend a murderer by the name of Carl Lee Hayley. Hayley happens to be a man of color but Jake has always gotten along with his family. Hayley’s 10 year old daughter was raped and brutally assaulted by two of the towns drunk rednecks. The judicial system practices it’s routine on the two rapists but Hayley had his own ideas about how justice should be served. He decides to take things into his own hands and ends up popping caps into the two. The whole book then becomes the controversy:Black vs White. A black man kills two white guys. Rapists or not; the white folks, KKK members included of course, are pissed. The Klan cannot believe a white lawyer would defend such a man, so Jake becomes a target.
“With murder, the victim is gone, and not forced to deal with what happened to her. The family must deal with it, but not the victim. But rape is much worse. The victim has a lifetime of coping, trying to understand, of asking questions, and the worst part, of knowing the rapist is still alive and may someday escape or be released. Every hour of every day, the victim thinks of the rape and asks herself a thousand questions. She relives it, step by step, minute by minute, and it hurts just as bad.” – John Grisham, A Time To Kill
If you know anything about small towns you know everything gets around. That, and people have opinions about EVERYTHING. So Grisham writes an entire novel about the controversy that surrounds this situation.
In my opinion the book was written extremely well. I liked that Grisham writes fast. The story unfolds quickly and there arent useless scenes thrown in to the book to establish setting. Everything is pretty straight forward and the acceleration of the story is pretty persistent. I also thought the character development of the book was really good. I think thats a notable quality about Grishams writing. He gives a lot of character description and he really embodies the mind of whoever’s perspective he is writing from. He tells the story in an Omniscient voice, but surprisingly his bias was undetectable to me. If you end up really liking Grisham, as i have, you can check out some more of his books.
I recommend the book to anyone who enjoys stories that are more of a character study than stories centered around a thick plot. The book is probably banned because of the over use of the N word, hovever given the setting of the story and the context in which the word is used it was kind of necessary. The KKK also makes multiple appearances, committing violent crimes and doing their thing. Again, i think this is neccessary to the story and offered me, someone who didnt get to witness that level of racial injustice, a widened perspective of the issue.