Sycamore Row by John Grisham
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I read this book in about 32 hours. It would have been less if I didn’t have work I couldn’t avoid or postpone.
I read John Grisham while growing up, and even though I haven’t read any of his books in recent years, I remember books like A Time to Kill, The Firm, The Client, A Painted House, and how much I enjoyed them. So when recently I decided to add a little more variety to my reading material, I chose Sycamore Row from a bestseller list and it was worth every minute.
Sycamore Row is a sequel to A Time to Kill, set about three years after the Hailey trial. Jake Brigance’s brilliant success in that trial didn’t parlay into any kind of financial success, so when a new and potentially spectacular case fall in his lap, he embraces it.
Nobody knows much about Seth Hubbard when he hangs himself on a Sunday morning after church, certainly not how much money he had. His handwritten will, mailed to Jake Brigance a day before his suicide, leaves everything to his black housekeeper, voiding a prior will which favored his estranged children. He appoints Jake as the executor of his estate. This puts Jake in the position of defending the new will against the older one, the lawyers who prepared it, and the family who would have benefited from it.
Will Jake be able to prove that Seth Hubbard had ‘Testamentary Capacity when he prepared this new will?
And then there’s Lettie Lang, the housekeeper. Why did Seth leave her so much? Did she exert ‘undue influence’ on her boss? Why should she suddenly become one of the richest people in Ford County, a small town in the Deep South still mired in racism?
Jake has battled race before to get a unanimous not guilty verdict from an all white jury for a black man accused of murder. This time, the case and the jury are different. Will Jake be able to pull it off the second time around?
~ My Thoughts~
As usual with Grisham, the opening was perfect and had me engrossed from the first page. The story was excellent, and the plot was sustained throughout. The resolution had me in tears, and the ending was just beautiful.