John Grisham’s “Sycamore Row”

SycamoreRow1[1]John Grisham’s Sycamore Row (2013) is a sequel to his first bestseller A Time to Kill, published two decades ago, and it is equally good.

Seth Hubbard, a seventy-plus-year-old millionaire, loses his battle with cancer and, unable to endure the pain anymore, takes his own life. He leaves a handwritten will that negates the previous one, made out a year ago at a reputable law firm. And that’s what causes the drama of the century in his county.

Seth’s will is so outrageously weird that no one is able to understand his decision, much less approve it. Not even the beneficiary, bequeathed ninety percent of Hubbard’s wealth, understands it, and certainly not the people who get cut out of the will. Needless to say, everyone in the community questions the dead man’s sanity—Was he under the influence of the painkillers? Was he coerced?—even though he claims in his will that he was sound of mind and alone at the time of composing it.

A day before his suicide, Mr. Hubbard mails his will to Jake Brigance, a local young attorney, famous for winning a controversial case three years earlier (described in A Time to Kill). In a letter attached to the will, he asks Jake to take the case because he is the only lawyer in the area that he respects and trusts. He warns him, however, about the “trouble” that his testament will most likely cause.

Thus the dying man pleads with Jake Brigance to defend his will “at all costs.”

And that’s exactly what Jake sets out to do.

And the fight involving a court drama begins. It is an ugly fight, which, as we all know, often happens in real life, when it comes to contesting an “unfair” will. Which is what makes this story twice as fascinating.

Just like its prequel, Sycamore Row is a page-turner.  John Grisham is a masterful storyteller, and I can’t wait till his next book.

Highly recommend.

2 thoughts on “John Grisham’s “Sycamore Row”

  1. Great book, you are right about Grisham being a masterful storyteller; besides a great plot line and interesting characters in this book, he enables his readers to learn more about the inner machinations of the law. When I finish this, will go back and read A Time to Kill again.

    • Thanks, Beth, for your response. I’m glad you like the book, and yes, you should certainly re-read its prequel, A Time to Kill. Jake Brigance is so admirable! He has integrity; he’s not a greedy lawyer coming after big bucks (although he’s not above wishing he had big bucks, which only makes him human), and he loves his job, despite its drawbacks.

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