Title : Sycamore Row
Author : John Grisham
Publisher : Bantam Books
Genre : Legal Thriller
Cover Design : Maria Carella
First Published : 2013
Pages : 454 (author’s note included)
RATING : 4/5
A wealthy man in Ford County named Seth Hubbard committed suicide in 1989.2 days before he died he changed his prior will that was prepared by a big law firm in Tupelo in 1987.He wrote a new handwritten will and left 90% of his wealth to his black house keeper(Lettie Lang) and nothing for his children,ex wives,or grandchildren.He also mailed a letter to Jake Brigance asking him to defend that handwritten will to the bitter end at any costs because he know that his family will fight hard.The big question is why on earth would Seth leave nearly all of his fortune to his black maid?Had chemotherapy affected his ability to make him think clearly?What did Lettie do to worm out her way to his will?And what does it all have to do with a piece of land called as Sycamore Row?
This is my very first Grisham novel and now I am already deeply,madly in love with this one.Grisham is smart,funny,and seems to have this ability to craft complex and interesting characters.The idea of the story itself is so good I still can’t believe it.I have to admit that at the beginning of the book I felt a little bit bored because this book is slow paced as heck I can’t wait for the surprise elements to finally emerged.I usually love books that are fast paced and full of intelligent twists.This one had almost make me desperate and gave up on it but I continued on and I am really grateful I did.The characters are all awesome.All of them are new for me because I havent read A Time To Kill but now I promise myself to go read it as soon as possible.From all of the character I love Portia Lang the most because yeah if you are an avid reader of this blog and you also have read this book,you will easily see why she is my fav among the others.She is a beautiful,strong,independent young woman who is open minded and reasonable and I just cant help but loving her.Growing up in a difficult situation,running away after high school and joined the army for 6 years,has been visiting so many places in the world during her service period to the army and finally back to her hometown after doing some jobs in Europe to go study law.She is just awesome.The antagonist indeed,has also captured my heart.Wade Lanier played a dirty game during the lawsuit process but I admire his efforts in doing everything he could,in making surprises for his opponents in every turns.Some people born to be like him,they never mean to be the bad guys it just happens.In facts,in most movies I always love the antagonists the most idk why.Oh yeah and I dont really like judge Atlee.In my imagination he must be an old traditional conservationist white man whose mind and judgments are undoublty fair but also boring to death.I know he plays fair game but still I hate people like him in real life that’s why.Last,but not least I also love Harry Rex so much.This divorce lawyer has all the traits I love in a man.He is funny,smart as heck,easy going,good at negotiating,and sincere.He was not by any means pretentious.Oh and I also admire Seth Hubbard’s efforts,idea,belief,and his action by writing his last will to straighten the justice,to mend his family relationship to the Rinds family for what his father had done in the past.I admire and respect him so much because of this.
For those who had never read Grisham books before I think it is better for you to read his first book (A Time To Kill) first before reading this because actually Sycamore Row is a kind of sequel to it.For those who are always asking for what age this book is recommended for ,I have to be honest here that sometimes I dont get it why people even ask something like that.Everybody can enjoy a book regardless of their age because a 12 years old whose mind has already well developed could enjoy this book more than a 35 five years old whose mind is dull and never have the inner will to sharpen his own mind by reading books like this.So my conclusion is that this is a very very good book that must be read by everyone,I’m not exaggerating this but I definitely put this in my “50 books you have to read before you die”list.Highly recommended,especially if you are a big fan of thrillers like me.
PS: eventually there is still hole in this big masterpiece-why the heck Seth didn’t just explain clearly in his will the reason of his action?I know it may be bitter and bringing back unpleasant memory to him but please it can save so many people from this difficult and confusing situation created by his handwritten will.I just wonder why Seth why you put them all in this unnecessary confusing situation and bitter war?It is big money involved here,everybody wants to claim a piece of the pie why couldn’t you understand.
PPS:I finished this last night and didnt sleep until 2 AM just because I couldnt put it down,YES THIS BOOK IS THAT GOOD!
Plot : ★★★★☆
Writing : ★★★☆☆
Story : ★★★★☆
Pacing : ★★★☆☆
Cover : ★★☆☆☆