Sycamore Row (The Jake Brigance) [John Grisham] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Don’t miss an . Grisham’s sequel to A Time to Kill is a solid courtroom drama about racial prejudice marred by a flawless white hero, writes John O’Connell. Thus begins John Grisham’s powerful new novel, “Sycamore Row.” It takes the author back to Clanton (think Klan Town) and to Brigance, the.

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W hen a reclusive Mississippi timber tycoon hangs himself from a sycamore on the edge of his estate, his handwritten will leaves the bulk of his fortune not to his two adult children, but to his black housekeeper.

Seth Hubbard loathed lawyers. Hubbard sent his will to Brigance, instructing him to defend it “to the bitter end”.

Sycamore Row (Jake Brigance, #2) by John Grisham

He knew it would scandalise a community which, even inwhen Sycamore Row is set, could eow abide the idea of a black woman inheriting — hell, just having — so much money. What, wonder the gossips, must Lettie Lang really have done for Hubbard to deserve such a gift?


Its existence raises questions about Hubbard’s “testamentary capacity” in his final months — was he out of it on Demerol? Hubbard was such an enigma that inferring any kind of motive is tricky. But before he can represent the estate in what promises to be a gladiatorial trial by jury, Brigance must decode him, and fast.

If the division-of-estate plot lends Sycamore Row Shakespearean gravitas Lang becomes Hubbard’s proxy third child — a Cordelia who loves according to her bond and yet is rewardedthen the multiple-will twist is self-consciously Dickensian. As one character observes: Grisham’s decision to revive Brigance after almost 25 years and write what amounts to a historical novel is intriguing.

He has produced a solid courtroom thriller with plenty to say about the long half-life of prejudice in the deep south. Coming so close on the heels of last year’s The Grishmahowever, Sycamore Row can’t help but disappoint.

Sycamore Row

That novel, about a small-town lawyer jailed for accidentally laundering money, was a blast — as devious and unpredictable as its sociopathic antihero narrator. Sycamore Row ‘s main problem is Jake Brigance, an authorial projection Grisham can’t bring himself to make flawed.


He is Noble White Liberal gtisham. Most of the heavy lifting is done by the minor characters, some of whom Grisham fans will remember from previous books: The much-trailed conclusion is powerful, even if I did keep wondering how Spielberg would film it.

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