Sunday, January 5, 2014

Sycamore Row; John Grisham

Sycamore Row; John Grisham
2013 - Random House Audio
 
Some readers are considering this novel a sequel to A Time to Kill, which Grisham wrote some 25 years ago. Although readers will be transported back to Clanton, MS, 1988 and Attorney Jake Brigance, from the Carl Lee Haley trial returns, I didn't really consider it a sequel.

At the heart of this story is Seth Hubbard, an extremely wealthy man who was dying of lung cancer and is found hanging from a "sycamore" tree.  The day before he died, he left a new will, this one hand-written, in which he leaves the bulk of his estate (90%) to his black maid, Lettie Lang (5%) to his church and (5%) to his brother and excluding his two children.  Was Seth mentally sound when he wrote this will, and if so what compelled him to do what he did? 

Of course, with racial tensions still high in Mississippi at this time,  there are plenty of individuals who plan to do everything in their power to make sure the richest woman in Clanton, Mississippi is not a black woman named Lettie Lang.  A lengthy court battle ensues and Jake has plenty at stake.

This Grisham novel was very good and I liked the way the story unfolded. The reader was Michael Beck who did a great job with the narration and listening made for some entertaining commutes. The character development was good, a fair amount of twists and turns along the way to keep me engaged and curious, and best of all an ending that did not disappoint.  
 
Recommended
4/5 stars 
(library audio)

19 comments:

  1. I'm about half way through and having diffuculty keeping interest. Your review is encouraging. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sounds very compelling, Diane!

    Happy New Year, Diane! I've been away for the holidays but am back now. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. My husband just finished this one. I stopped reading Grisham a few books ago bc I started losing track of which was which. A Time to Kill is a favorite though, so I'm going to give this one a shot. Enjoyed your review :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Even if it's not a sequel, it sounds like it's back to Grisham's old style and that excites me!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sounds like a really interesting story. I have yet to read a Grisham novel but I intend to. I do like courtroom drama.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Have you ever read Grisham's THE INNOCENT MAN? It's his only nonfiction that I know of. What a great book, far superior to his fiction.Grisham is a lawayer, and it's obvious. He explains the law so well in this true story about a small-town southern man unjustly put on death row.

    ReplyDelete
  7. It's good to know this one doesn't have to be read as a sequel. I read Time to Kill ages ago, and really enjoyed it. I was wondering about this one, but know I've forgotten so much of the first novel I'd be lost if it did play a large part in this second one.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Well, we did like A Time to Kill.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Glad to know you enjoyed the audio, I have been trying to decide between print and audio. Have a great week. Did you have a snow day today?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sounds like a great commuting choice. I used to devour Grisham but they all started to blur for me. It just may be time to revisit his work.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Definitely something I will put on my reading list, thanks Diane.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have read and enjoyed a few of Grisham's books. This one does sound suspenseful.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm definitely intrigued by the premise. I've never read Grisham before.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Glad to read that it was good as I received it for Christmas. I've stayed away from some of his more recent stuff- legal overload.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm about half way thru listening to this as well and I'm loving it. I've read 18 of his earlier books but stopped several years ago. I'm enjoying this one the way I did with the older books. And you're right - Michael Beck does and outstanding job!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have this audio on reserve at the library. I put my name on the list as soon as I heard about it, Now, with your review, I'm really excited to get this. Great review. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I do want to read this. I don't think I read A Time to Kill but saw the movie. Wonderful interview with Diane Rehm here:
    http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2013-11-13/john-grisham-sycamore-row

    ReplyDelete
  18. Sounds like a Grisham I would like. I don't love them all but even if it feels a little like ATTK I'll love it.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to visit and double thanks for any comments. If you ask a question in your comments, I will try to reply to it here, or by email if your settings allow me to do so. Thank again for visiting.

(I apologize for the word verification, spammers spoil it for all sadly.)