Now that I think about it I feel like I should have wrote my review to this book a long time ago. Harper Lee is one of my all time favorite authors and the fact that it took me this long to realize that I hadn’t reviewed her books yet makes me sad!!
Before I get to the book review I think it’s only appropriate that I talk about the amazing Harper Lee herself!
Harper Lee is best known for writing the Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) and Go Set a Watchman (2015). Lee was born April 28, 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama. She is the youngest of four children, grew up a tomboy in a small town where her father was a lawyer, a member of the Alabama state legislature and owned a portion of the local news paper…hmm does that sound familiar to anyone?!? For most of her life however, her mother was said to have suffered from a mental illness (supposedly bipolar disorder) and she rarely left the house.
She grew up with Truman Capote (who would later also become a writer). During their childhood, Lee who was tougher than most of the boys she knew, often stepped up to protect Truman who was often picked on for being sensitive and not sharing many interests (if at all any) that other boys his age had. Though Truman and Lee were very different, they had one major similarity; they had touch home lives.
Fast forwarding to her college years; in her junior year at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, she was accepted into the university’s law school. The demands of her law studies however, forced her to give up things that she loved, such as writing for the Rammer Jammer and being it’s editor. After one year in the program Lee expressed that writing was her true passion.
Lee went to Oxford University in England as an exchange student, after returning to her law studies that fall, Lee dropped out after the first semester and moved north to follow her dreams of becoming a writer.
For several years she struggled in New York City, working as a ticket agent. However while she was there she was reunited with her old friend Capote who was one of literatures rising stars of the time and also befriended the Broadway composer and lyricist Michael Martin Brown, who later that year would offer her the best present an aspiring writer could ever receive; Brown and his wife offered to support Lee for a year so that she could begin writing full time. The Browns were also kind enough to help her find an agent who would later get a publisher (J.B. Lippincott Company) interested in her work. While working with the editor, Lee was able to write the manuscript, set in a small Alabama town, which would later become her novel To Kill a Mockingbird.
To Kill a Mockingbird is the book of Lee’s that I am going to be reviewing first (a review of Go Set a Watchman will be coming later!). I read this book for the first time when I was in seventh grade and I loved it. I enjoyed reading before I read this book, but I can honestly say that this book made me fall in love with reading!