Taken from my Instagram account, @jimboysalomon

I started reading this book of John Grisham sometime in the middle of the semester right after reading Haruki Murakami’s “Norwegian Wood”, however, it was not until this morning till I was finally able to finish reading it. Well yes, unfortunately, it took me almost a semester to read this book but I am happy to have finished the book though.

The story was about William, a 23 year old college student, who assumed ownership of a weekly newspaper in Mississippi which went bankrupt, The Ford County Times. The future of the newspaper looked grim till it covered the trial of the rape and murder of a mother. William had a blow-by-blow cover of the trial till the court reached a verdict of a life imprisonment for the accused. But during that time in Mississippi, “life” didn’t necessarily mean “life” and after 9 years of imprisonment, the accused got paroled, returned to the Ford Country, and the retribution began.

There were actually two things that made me appreciate the book.

First, the story itself. Yes, undeniably, John Grisham is very good at legal thrillers. Cliche as this may sound, but the story did have an unexpected twists towards the end. These twists make you thirsty about the story, and perhaps in order to quench the thirst, you couldn’t help yourself but to read more and more of the story. It’s addicting in a sense that once you’ve reached the climax, there seems to be no stopping in unfurling further pages of the book. It makes use of your analytical and critical thinking because you could never get the story unless you analyze it well, unless you stitch the different characters well.

The second thing I liked about the story was how it taught me about the environment in Mississippi during those times particularly in 1970. It gave me a glimpse on the society during those times when Black Americans were not yet socially accepted, when they were regarded to be of lower class in the society. It taught me that indeed there was never an easy acceptance on the part of the Whites, and rights were not equally given, more often than not Whites are given much importance than Blacks.

The story was able to present characters from the Black Community that complemented to the story by giving a clearer picture on the situation. The black american characters were able to really explain their struggles during that time especially during those times when desegregation was not yet achieved.

Truly, a must read because it does not only entertain but it also educates you as well.


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