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{July 24, 2014}   {Review} Sycamore Row by John Grisham (Jake Brigance #2)

Sycamore RowFrom Goodreads: Seth Hubbard is a wealthy man dying of lung cancer. He trusts no one. Before he hangs himself from a sycamore tree, Hubbard leaves a new, handwritten, will. It is an act that drags his adult children, his black maid, and Jake into a conflict as riveting and dramatic as the murder trial that made Brigance one of Ford County’s most notorious citizens, just three years earlier.

The second will raises far more questions than it answers. Why would Hubbard leave nearly all of his fortune to his maid? Had chemotherapy and painkillers affected his ability to think clearly? And what does it all have to do with a piece of land once known as Sycamore Row?

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I have loved all but one Grisham book that I’ve read—I used to be an avid reader of his series, reading nearly all his books, but in the last decade I haven’t read much of his work as the premises haven’t really interested me. However, when Sycamore Row came out, I knew I wanted to read it badly as it’s the second in the Jake Brigance series—jumping off of A Time To Kill, a most phenomenal novel written 25 years ago that is still a bestseller today!

But… Sycamore Row was just… well, long. There were a lot of characters, true to Grisham’s style, but for some reason, they just put me to sleep. None of them were very likable; even Brigance got on my nerves in some of his scenes, and let’s not get started on Lettie, a woman who seemed to have no backbone and wouldn’t listen to anyone concerning the inheritance. I really felt like I was caught in limbo as I read, sometimes interested in the events and characters unfolding, and sometimes not. And truth be told, I feel like Grisham gave away the secret a bit too early in this book. Of course, it’s a very well written book, but I just didn’t feel like enough was happening throughout, and when we learned the potential reason for Seth giving 90% of his money/land to Lettie, well, it became clear quite that that was EXACTLY the reason, even though Grisham tried to make it seem like maybe it wasn’t. After the “possibility” came to light, I knew what was going to happen in the rest of the novel, and that’s never fun. So, while I liked much of the novel overall, I wasn’t extremely impressed like I was with A Time to Kill or any of his other novels written before 2005. Two stars.

2 stars

I borrowed this novel from the library.

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