Great book...Must read
23 October, 2013
I met Atticus Finch the year my father died. My father was kind, soft-spoken, and courteous. Like Atticus, “he did not do the things our schoolmates’ fathers did: he never went hunting, he did not play poker or fish, or drink or smoke. He sat in the living room and read.”
While he was alive, I wished my father more heroic, but I was a boy with a shallow understanding of courage. Worst of all, my father told self-effacing stories like the one about a drunken Marine who sneered at him. “I bet I could kick your ASS!” My father’s reply: “I bet, too, you could!” My dad defused him, bought him coffee, thanked him for his service, and the Marine left peacefully. I was not impressed. But then, I read about Bob Ewell spitting in Atticus’ face, and Atticus calmly wiping the spittle and walking away. Like Saul of Tarsus, the scales fell from my eyes. I was blind, but then I saw.
One of the themes that resonated with me was the way Jem's appreciation of his father grows. Jem proclaims, “Atticus is a gentlemen, just like me!” As Atticus advised, I “climbed into another’s skin and walked around in it.” I stepped into the shoes of another boy my age, blessed with a rare and magnificent father.
I have read this book six times, and it rests on my altar bookshelf. As I have become a lawyer and a father myself, I have stepped into the skin of Atticus, and I have taken measure of where I fall short and where I am satisfactory.
I sometimes wonder how I became a small-town lawyer who often asks, "what would Atticus do?" Then I remember. I am the adopted child of Atticus Finch.
I’m sorry if you came here seeking a review of a beloved book and you got me instead. Some books are so well known that there is nothing new to write. Yet some books wound us so deeply that they become a part of the landscape of our scars. Some books absorb our pain; some books inflict pain; some books transform our pain. This book served as a conduit for the pain of a fatherless boy. Harper Lee helped him come to grips with the magnitude of what he had lost. She taught him a new metaphor--that his father was a mockingbird, slain by God. Steve, Steve, "stand up....your father’s passin.’”
Problem in saving your vote. Try again.