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Review: Sycamore Row

May 15, 2014

Sycamore Row

Shortly after Seth Hubbard commits suicide, attorney Jake Brigance receives a handwritten will from him along with directions to do everything in his power to defend the will.  The will is sure to stir things up in Ford County, Mississippi because Seth intentionally omits his family and leaves the bulk of his estate to his maid, who just happens to be black.  Once again, Jake finds himself in the middle of a controversial trial.

I was excited to pick up Sycamore Row by John Grisham because I’d heard it was a return to his original style of courtroom drama.  I enjoyed the book and revisiting old characters and settings but didn’t think this book was quite as good as Grisham’s old work.  The book started out strong for me – I was fascinated with Seth’s story and curious as to why he made the change to his will – but by the time I got to the middle of the book, the story started to drag for me.  Thankfully, things did pick up in the end.  I think this is a great story that’s just a little too long.

I really like the character of Jake Brigance – he’s everything you want in a lawyer.  He’s honest and good and really wants to do right by his clients while upholding the law.  He loves his family and worries when his job threatens them.  I’d love to see Grisham include Jake in more of his books.

Michael Beck narrates the audio version of Sycamore Row and he does an outstanding job.  His voices and his southern accents are terrific!  The audio is on 16 CDs and lasts approximately 20 and a half hours.

Review copy provided by Random House.  I am an Indiebound Affliate.
22 Comments leave one →
  1. May 15, 2014 5:48 am

    Not read a Grisham for ages.

  2. May 15, 2014 7:17 am

    It’s been a long time since I read a John Grisham book. I’ve been hearing about many of his works in recent years. Need to read one of them soon.

  3. May 15, 2014 7:44 am

    I haven’t read many of the later Grisham novels, but A Time To Kill was my favorite and I like the Jake Brigance character as you do.

  4. May 15, 2014 7:46 am

    I loved Grisham’s early courtroom dramas, but haven’t read him in years. My father enjoys his books quite a bit, so I may pick this up for him. Glad to know the audio was well done!

  5. May 15, 2014 8:18 am

    I keep forgetting to pick this one up so I’m glad you reminded me!

  6. Beth Hoffman permalink
    May 15, 2014 10:03 am

    I read this when it first released. I liked it a lot, but didn’t love it like I have some of his others.

  7. May 15, 2014 11:38 am

    I haven’t read Grisham in a while. I do love those early courtroom drama books though. I’ll have to give this one a try.

  8. May 15, 2014 11:55 am

    Love a good narrator! And I loved Grisham’s older books—haven’t read one in a while tho.

  9. May 15, 2014 2:19 pm

    Glad to hear you l liked it! I was happy to go back to Jake Brigance too!

  10. May 15, 2014 2:31 pm

    I just got this book and am looking forward to it. It has been awhile since I’ve read Grisham.

  11. Patty permalink
    May 15, 2014 3:27 pm

    I have not read his books in a long time…but I am not sure about this one….oh my!

  12. May 15, 2014 4:01 pm

    Ohh a return, well then I must read it cos I enjoyed those earlier ones

  13. May 15, 2014 5:13 pm

    I’ve never read Grisham before. Sounds like I should start with his early books.

  14. May 15, 2014 6:02 pm

    Thanks for your honest review of this audiobook, Kathy. It sounds as if you enjoyed it, even though you felt it was a bit long.

  15. May 15, 2014 8:33 pm

    I love Grishams older books. I think I read almost all of them. Too bad this one wasn’t as solid.

  16. May 15, 2014 8:57 pm

    Oh that is a long audiobook! I haven’t read any Grisham before, but I like courtroom dramas- especially tv dramas like The Good Wife 🙂

  17. May 16, 2014 1:01 am

    I think The Firm was the last Tristan book I read, and that was right before the movie came out.

  18. Beth F permalink
    May 16, 2014 5:56 am

    Mr. BFR is a Grisham fan, I’ll have to remind him of this one.

  19. May 18, 2014 2:05 pm

    I loved A Time To Kill, my first Grisham read, so I’m glad to see he brought Jake back. I might be willing to give this one a try.

  20. May 18, 2014 2:33 pm

    I haven’t read a John Grisham book in a long time. I may read this as I’d love to know why he left everything to his maid. The fact that you loved the narration is a plus for me too!

  21. bookingmama permalink
    May 21, 2014 7:54 am

    I can pretty much second everything you said in this review. Ending picked up for me but I almost didn’t make it that far.

  22. May 21, 2014 9:40 am

    Good, honest review Kathy. I have this on audio too and just need to get to it. Glad to hear Jake is back.

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