Throwback Thursday (June 21): A Time to Kill

Welcome to Throwback Thursday, a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books!

It’s the nature of book blogging to focus mainly on new releases, but there are thousands of great books out there that haven’t seen the “New Releases” shelf in years. We hope to be able to bring attention to some older titles that may not be at the top of the current bestseller list, but still deserve a spot in your To-Be-Read pile.

You don’t have to be a book blogger to participate! You can put up a Throwback Thursday post on your non-bookish blog; or if you don’t have a blog at all, just use the comments to tell us about a book you remember fondly.

Here’s how it works:
1. Pick any book released more than 5 years ago. Adult, YA, Children’s; doesn’t matter. Any great book will do.
2. Write up a short summary of the book (include the title, author, and cover art) and an explanation of why you love it. Make sure to link back to The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books in your post.
3. Link up your post at The Housework Can Wait or Never Too Fond of Books.
4. Visit as many blogs as you can, reminisce about books you loved, and discover some “new” books for your TBR list!

Feel free to grab the Throwback Thursday button code from the sidebar to use in your posts.

Thanks for participating, and we look forward to seeing which books you choose to remember!

My Throwback this week is…

A Time to Kill by John Grisham.

As you may have figured out by now, my reading habits did not follow the normal pattern. I started with early readers and progressed to beginner chapter books, but then I skipped over the entire YA category and went straight to adult fiction. I read pretty much exclusively adult fiction from the time I was 10 until I was about to graduate college. And it was only then, when I was technically “too old” for YA, that I discovered it.

Therefore, most of the books I remember from my younger years are adult books. And one of the authors I absolutely adored while I was in high school was John Grisham.

As you’re probably aware, Grisham writes primarily legal thrillers, a genre I’ve always been strangely drawn to. I love the logic, the detail, and the methodology.

A Time to Kill is one of the least action-driven, but most poignant of Grisham’s novels (it was also Grisham’s debut novel). It follows Jake Brigance, a young lawyer in small town Mississippi. Jake takes on the case of Carl Lee Hailey, an African-American man who murdered the two KKK members that raped, beat, and attempted to murder his 10-year-old daughter.

The town splits as the black community advocates for the release of Carl Lee, and the KKK and white supremacists argue for his execution. And as a young white man, Jake finds himself with few allies, and pitted against the most powerful lawyer in the state, battling overwhelming odds as he fights for Carl Lee both in and out of the courtroom.

This book is incredibly moving. The brutal attack on 10-year-old Tonya at the beginning of the book will chill you to the bone. And the rest of the book doesn’t shy away from difficult questions. How is a father supposed to react when his daughter’s attackers look like they will go free? When is revenge justified? How do our own perceptions of race sway our opinions of right and wrong? Nothing in this book is simple or easy, and Jake and Carl Lee both run the gamut of emotions and morality.

I’d recommend this book even if you don’t think legal thrillers are your thing. The characters it introduces and the questions it raises are worth the read.

(This book was also adapted into a film, which, in my opinion, is the best of the Grisham film adaptations.)

This is a blog hop! Link up your Throwback Thursday post below!

9 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday (June 21): A Time to Kill

  1. I’ve always dreamed of going to New Orleans, however I don’t like to fly and try to avoid it at every turn. It’s kinda funny since my hubby happens to fly for the Airforce. However one day I’ll get to New Orleans. I’ve always enjoyed reading classic John Grisham books, you don’t hear much about his older stuff often so it’s awesome your spotlighting it. My first book of his was The Client. This is such a great idea I’m glad I stumbled across it.
    The Reading Diaries recently posted..Throwback Thursday!My Profile

  2. I haven’t read any Grisham, but I did love the movie. I participate in a weekly trivia night at a local bar, and there have been a few questions involving Grisham books and movies. I may just have to start reading them! Thanks!

  3. I’ve read only one Grisham novel, “The Testament.” It was OK- I remember thinking the ending wrapped up too neatly. As you and I have discussed, I liked the movie “Runaway Jury” but it’s apparently unlike the book. I thought “A Time to Kill” was available instantly on Netflix but I was mistaken (pity). Fortunately, McKay’s has a large collection of Grisham paperbacks for 25 cents. I might make an investment at some point. 🙂
    Kaitlin McDuffie recently posted..Throwback Thursday: “Mr. Popper’s Penguins”My Profile

    • A Time to Kill was his debut, before he became the legal thriller producing juggernaut he is today. As such, I think he put a lot more time and energy into it than some of his later books, like The Testament. It’s a fantastic book. Sadly, I think my copy is somewhere in my parents’ basement, or it got donated, otherwise I’d loan it to you. It is TOTALLY worth the $0.25 at McKay’s though!
      TheHouseworkCanWait recently posted..Feature & Follow (June 22) – Book I’d “Unread”My Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge