Book Review: Sycamore Row (Doubleday, 2013)

Sycamore Row is the new edgy fiction novel from John Grisham. If you loved A Time to Kill then the return of Jake Brigance three years after the Carl Lee Hailey trial will be welcome to you. I finished this book in just a few days and found myself turning the last few pages late into the night even though I was very tired. (Sign of a good book.)

Why Sycamore Row appeals to me

As a person who lives in the South, I identify with the South who is slowly coming to its senses in agony of the past and wanting to work together for the future. It is very hard and trials such as the one in the book bring all the good and bad of humankind and the old and new south to the surface. It also subtly points out that knowing how someone thinks in the South just because of the color of their skin, isn't so easy any more — a point that I totally get and agree with. The Deep South no longer means deep hatred of another color, but deep roots make it hard to leave the shadowy past behind for many older Southerners.

I enjoyed the book and think it is a great read for Grisham fans who fell in love with the early books. Sycamore Row has an edge but is on a topic (no spoiler here, I'm not telling) that we could all serve to remember. This is fiction that is pure delight but also fiction with an edgy, harder purpose. Great Grisham and a wonderful holiday read.

What is your favorite fiction recommendation to teachers for the holidays?

Comments (4) | | Posted in Books
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4 thoughts on “Book Review: Sycamore Row

  1. I don’t have a fiction recommendation, but I do recommend Pat Conroy’s new book The Death of Santini. Pat Conroy fans and southern fiction writers will enjoy this powerful non-sanitized look at Conroy’s struggles with his father and his entire family. Another great Southern Holiday read!

  2. Thanks for the book review, Cool Cat Teacher Vicki. I will download this book later today. I am a big John Grisham fan, with my favorite being ‘A painted House’- which different from his others and, if I recall correctly, based upon his childhood.