Tuesday, February 25, 2014
The newly-formed NAACP was looking for an incident that could move the deteriorating race relations in America towards greater justice for blacks and decided to put most of its resources behind winning an acquittal for the home owners. They hired Clarence Darrow, among others, to take the case and it became a headline-making event.
The story itself is interesting but the book reads almost as if there were two authors. In the first 100 pages or so, Boyle tells the same story repeatedly and speculates way too many times as to what Dr. Sweet must have been thinking or feeling at a particular time. Skim that part. Once past that, the story focuses on the history of the KKK, the NAACP, Clarence Darrow, the major trials of the era, and culminates in a good depiction of the trials that resulted from the incident. All of that was interesting and well told.
This is a worthwhile read, if for no other reason than to better understand forces that are still with us today to varying degrees throughout the country. Those forces are having an impact on current laws and practices, even as we believe the past is the past and no longer relevant. It is.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
In this instance, a rich man kills himself to end the pain of cancer right after making a new will that removes his heirs from any inheritance. To make matters more difficult in this rural Mississippi town, he left most of it to his black house keeper of 3 years. That his family contests the new will is a no-brainer. Jake Brigance is the one picked by the deceased, even though the two never met. The central question of why would the deceased do such a thing is the focus of the trial.
The plot is an excellent follow-up to A Time To Kill and satisfies on a number of levels, from a host of interesting characters, a number of dirty tricks, and an ending believable enough to be satisfying. If you liked ATTK, you'll like this as well.
Friday, February 14, 2014
Basically, the story takes place in the 1980s on a North Dakota reservation and the main character, Joe, learns that his mother has been brutalized. However, she won't retell the story in order to help have the crime solved, so we watch as a family comes near the brink of falling apart while trying desperately to put the pieces back together and figure out who is responsible for the attack.
I don't want to give too much away, but this is a beautifully told story with a few twists and turns that make the hours fly by. I definitely recommend this to pretty much anyone, and owe my mom and dad for recommending it to me!
Posted by Becky at 6:40 AM
Monday, February 03, 2014
He is Louis Zamperini, a man who started out as a troublesome kid and eventually settled into becoming one of the premier distance runners just prior to WWII. He was so good he went to Berlin for the 1936 Olympics and was on pace to break the 4 minute mile by the time of the 1940 games when war broke out and thoughts of international games were put on hold.
He became a flier and his plane crashed in the Pacific. The story thereafter was of his long voyage in a raft, followed by being captured by the Japanese, which in turn spiraled downward into a different long distance story of torture and survival. It takes nothing away from the story to know that he lived through that and his subsequent struggle to adjust once he returned to civilian life. The tale is well told and compelling, one of those books that is read in long sittings. It makes you marvel at Zamperini's accomplishments and endurance and at Hillenbrand's skill to tell the story so well. It should be a heck of a movie when it comes out this year.