Review: John Grisham "Sycamore Row (Jake Brigance)"

Publisher: Doubleday

ISBN:  978-0385537131

My rating: 3/5

John Grisham's A Time to Kill is one of the most popular novels of our time. Now we return to that famous courthouse in Clanton as Jake Brigance once again finds himself embroiled in a fiercely controversial trial-a trial that will expose old racial tensions and force Ford County to confront its tortured history.

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?

In Sycamore Row, John Grisham returns to the setting and the compelling characters that first established him as America's favorite storyteller. Here, in his most assured and thrilling novel yet, is a powerful testament to the fact that Grisham remains the master of the legal thriller, nearly twenty-five years after the publication of A Time to Kill. (
from the backcover)

My rating

It's been a while since I've read a book that's worth writing a review.

Having said that, Grisham's latest book "Sycamore Row" wasn't a page turner for me either, although it almost had me in tears at the end. Yes, a small disappointment, considering how much I enjoyed "A time to Kill"

Jake Brigance (I have to admit, it was nice to imagining him with Matthew McConaughey's face) returns in this book. Set in the late 1980s and only a few years after having defended a black man for killing the two rapists of his daughter, Jake defends the hand written will of the late Seth Hubbard, who has left most of his estate to his housekeeper, Lettie Lang, cutting out his children completely.

Over the next I-don't-know-how-many-pages, we follow the trial, the good and the bad, the interesting and the boring part, until the reader has an idea where this is leading - that's when Grisham draws out the story and it gets really boring!

I love most aspects of the law. And I love reading about it. In my opinion, though, this story was waaaay to long and would've been much more interesting if some of the parts were left out.

PS - Loved Harry Rex!


  1. I quit reading him a long time ago. I truly enjoyed his early work but you're right, it got tedious and boring.

    1. Thanks Jillian ... I'm kinda pleased i'm not the only one, but on the other hand, it's sad.