I read this book when I was a freshman in high school. It flowed with truth and beauty. It described a small town in the South… a place I’d never been. It also had the precious dynamics of an older brother and his sassy, but also sensitive little sister. A dynamic I lived with my, (now departed) brave younger sister Bette.
When you are of high school age you are growing at warp speed emotionally. It was only two years later when, while working as a janitor over the summer at our high school to earn a meager income when I discovered a tattered copy of the book’s pages that had been blown into the cyclone fence that surrounded the football field. It must have found its fate during some a recent storm. The book was fully disassembled but the individual pages could be read … just not chronologically. I was supposed to be picking weeds along that fence, but instead I was pulled back into Harper Lee’s universe that breezy August afternoon many years ago. Despite the pages being out of sequence due to the confluence of another student’s lost book and the wind … I read each page I found … and I felt the wonder of her Pulitzer Prize winning novel more deeply than ever. Once you have read a truly great book … and you know the story line you no longer need that part. Each page, each paragraph, each sentence is enough.