At the beginning of the year I started the empty shelf challenge where I was going to be reading books to fill a bookshelf this year. As I read, I like to read a variety of things. While I am usually in some sort of non fiction book, usually by Christian authors to help in personal spiritual growth or ministry/leadership, I also try to read some fiction at the same time.
In the summer of 2001, I discovered John Grisham books. Someone had given me a couple of his books to read and I was staying on campus at Moody all summer long. So with lots of down time I did lots of reading that summer and began to read those Grisham books. One of my favorite books that I read was “A Time to Kill.” So earlier this year when I found out that Mr. Grisham had came out with a sequel to that book, I had to read it.
Over the past few weeks on and off I began to read, “Sycamore Row” the sequel to “A Time to Kill.” The story is set three years after the first book and focuses once again on lawyer Jake Brigance. In this book, there is no big murder trial but a trial over a holographic will that was mailed to Jake. The basic premise of the book is that an older white man dying of cancer decides right before his death to leave his secret fortune to his African-American maid/nurse who took care of him during his battle with cancer. not only does he leave most of his estate to her, but he cuts his kids out of the will all together. What follows in the book is lots of drama both in and out of the court room as both sides battle over the estate and a shocking secret is revealed as to why the maid is supposed to inherit.
Many of the characters that were so memorable in “A Time to Kill” and several other Grisham books make appearances in “Sycamore Row.” It was sort of like getting to look in on these characters you had built relationships with earlier and see how their lives turned out. I also loved how this book got you on the first page and was one of those books you just didn’t want to put down. This was a bad thing for me though as I often read in bed and before I would know what time it was, I had read much longer into the night than intended.
If you are a fan of John Grisham, court/law drama, or just good stories, I highly recommend you get a copy of “Sycamore Row!”