Sycamore Row by John Grisham

sycamore row Blurb from goodreads.com, sroll down for my review

John Grisham takes you back to where it all began . . .
John Grisham’s A Time to Kill is one of the most popular novels of our time. Now we return to that famous courthouse in Clanton as Jake Brigance once again finds himself embroiled in a fiercely controversial trial-a trial that will expose old racial tensions and force Ford County to confront its tortured history.
Seth Hubbard is a wealthy man dying of lung cancer. He trusts no one. Before he hangs himself from a sycamore tree, Hubbard leaves a new, handwritten, will. It is an act that drags his adult children, his black maid, and Jake into a conflict as riveting and dramatic as the murder trial that made Brigance one of Ford County’s most notorious citizens, just three years earlier.


The second will raises far more questions than it answers. Why would Hubbard leave nearly all of his fortune to his maid? Had chemotherapy and painkillers affected his ability to think clearly? And what does it all have to do with a piece of land once known as Sycamore Row?

In Sycamore Row, John Grisham returns to the setting and the compelling characters that first established him as America’s favorite storyteller. Here, in his most assured and thrilling novel yet, is a powerful testament to the fact that Grisham remains the master of the legal thriller, nearly twenty-five years after the publication of A Time to Kill.

My Review:

This review is from an audiobook, rather than a written copy on my kindle.I am a huge fan of John Grisham and the only book I haven´t read is A Time to Kill with Jake Brigance, but I remember seeing the movie a long, long time ago but I have forgotten the story in itself, so I re-watched the film and really, really enjoyed it.This is all about race, blacks and whites in the southern states of USA. A tough subject to write about, but John does a wonderful job, even if the ending is rather disturbing, I can still see it in my head.
I actually found I didn´t enjoy this completely, it was slow going for quite some time, but I stuck with it to the end and I am very, very glad I did. But be prepared for a rather disturbing ending as I mentioned earlier. As I listened to the book I found the voice of the narrator at times to be really annoying but there were also times when he really got me inside the book, as if I was there watching from the sidelines. The writing is typical John Grisham, no surprises there of course but the most irritating thing was the wait until the trial, it went on and on, with loads of background information, occasionally with some basic information from A Time to Kill specially what has happened to the young lawyer since then, enough information that you don´t need to have read it.
One of the funniest things were the names, where did the author get those names from, I have no idea if these are typical southern names but they are certainly different. This is a good book, but I don´t think it is one of his best, I would imagine most of Grisham´s fans will have already read this or at least have it on their to be read lists, but if this is your first choice to read of his books I think there are better. It wouldn´t surprise me if loads of people are also buying A Time to Kill.
It would be interesting to understand why Grisham took such a long time to write a sequel, if you could call this a sequel and why choose A Time to Kill.

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2 thoughts on “Sycamore Row by John Grisham

  1. The flaw in the narrative is this: why did Seth write the first will, leaving money to his family, if redressing his father’s actions had been his plan all along (which Grisham asserts) as he was amassing his fortune. This seems like a significant loose end.

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