Monday, May 29, 2006

51. "Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee" ~ Charles J. Shields

If I were asked to write a blurb for this book's jacket, it would go a little somethin' like this:

"The book rocks."

Mockingbird is a beautifully written portrait of Nelle Harper Lee, friend of Truman Capote, brilliant author of To Kill a Mockingbird. Shunning the dry academic style of a biography, Shields melds hundreds of interviews and facts into a narrative that bends and flows through the river of Lee's life.

After reading In Cold Blood and watching Capote, I am infuriated that Lee was shoved into such a minor role in Capote's world. I will go so far as to say that Shields's book is a better example of the time of the Clutter murders and should have been used as research material. Simply, I would rather see this novel portrayed in film.

However, it is the portrayal of Lee that is most fascinating. While I have an unnatural heroine-worship due to her novel, I can't imagine anyone not being charmed by her wit. Though it examines some of the possible answers to her withdrawal from the literary circles, it also allows the reader to come to his or her own conclusions.

285 pages. It did not leave my hand for five hours, through a typical work and family day. I regret to say that I will not loan this copy out. Buy your own.

4.99999 out of 5.0 Gin and Tonics.


Shelley T. said...

Must read this book, thanks for the tip. RE: Prep. I had a hard time believing someone so miserable would stay at this school all four years. I kept thinking, Go home, girl, go home!

Kristin Dodge said...

My reaction, too. Have you seen that the author has a new book out? I'm so glad that I *won't* be reading it.