Sycamore Row

( 1274 )

Overview

John Grisham takes you back to where it all began . . .

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 ...

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Sycamore Row

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Overview

John Grisham takes you back to where it all began . . .

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

For many readers, no other John Grisham novel left a deeper imprint than his 1989 debut A Time to Kill. In this direct sequel, Jake Brigance, the hero of that legal thriller, returns to the Ford County, Mississippi courtroom to pursue another knotty case. A master returns to his work. A coast-to-coast top-seller; now in mass-market paperback and NOOK Book.

The New York Times - Janet Maslin
Mr. Grisham's gift for manipulating and explicating legal battles makes this multifaceted one satisfyingly cagey…Mr. Grisham knows what lawyers have been taught to do. More important, he also knows how they actually behave…As Sycamore Row finally reaches its trial phase, the author hits his full stride. He knows the courtroom inside out, and he helpfully describes each little step of these proceedings. Even if sharp-eyed readers already know how the book's surprises may arise…they will still miss the final whammy that Mr. Grisham has in store.
The New York Times Book Review - Charlie Rubin
…Grisham's 26th adult novel and one of his finest…Sycamore Row reminds us that the best legal fiction is written by lawyers…but this novel is unavoidably, and thankfully, about far more than just probating a will. Law is indistinguishable from the history of race in the South…I believe [Sycamore Row and A Time to Kill] will now be read back to back—and, standing together, at last dispel the long shadow of Harper Lee…
Publishers Weekly
★ 10/28/2013
Leave it to Grisham to make a battle about wills nail-bitingly suspenseful in his second novel featuring lawyer Jake Brigance, the hero of Grisham’s debut, A Time to Kill. It’s 1988, and Seth Hubbard, an elderly man dying of cancer, hangs himself after leaving detailed instructions for his funeral—and a handwritten will, penned the day before, that disinherits his children and gives 90% of his estate to his African-American caretaker, Lettie Lang. Since that unwitnessed document contradicts an earlier one, and Hubbard’s assets are north of $20 million, Brigance, who was asked by Hubbard in a note to represent his interests, has a battle on his hands when the disinherited lawyer up. The storyline takes several dramatic turns, even as why Hubbard was so generous to Lang, whom he was not close to, remains a mystery. All the author’s strengths are in evidence—his capturing the rhythms of small-town life in Clanton, Miss., his skill at making legal minutiae comprehensible, and his gift at getting readers to care about his characters. Agent: David Gernert, Gernert Company. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
Praise for the novels of John Grisham  

"John Grisham is about as good a storyteller as we've got in the United States these days." —The New York Times Book Review

"John Grisham is exceptionally good at what he does—indeed, right now in this country, nobody does it better." —Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post

"Grisham is a marvelous storyteller who works readers the way a good trial lawyer works a jury." —Philadelphia Inquirer

"John Grisham owns the legal thriller." —The Denver Post

"John Grisham is not just popular, he is one of the most popular novelists of our time. He is a craftsman and he writes good stories, engaging characters, and clever plots." —Seattle Times

"A legal literary legend." —USA Today

Library Journal
Remember A Time To Kill's Jake Brigance? He's back, trying to make sure that justice is served in Ford County, MS, even as one small town's trial of the century seems set to pull folks apart. Just starting to buzz—one wishes that there were more plot details—but the return of Jack Brigance will set readers on fire.
Kirkus Reviews
2013-11-03
A long-after sequel, of a sort, to A Time to Kill (1989), in which dogged attorney Jake Brigance fights for justice in a Mississippi town where justice is not always easy to come by. That's especially true when the uncomfortable question of race comes up, and here, it's a doozy. When local curmudgeon and secret millionaire Seth Hubbard puts an end to a lingering death, he leaves a holographic will placing the bulk of his fortune in the hands of the black woman who's been taking care of him, cutting his children and ex-wives out of the deal. That will also alludes to having seen "something no human should ever see"--a promising prompt, that is to say, for the tangled tale that follows. When Jake brings the housekeeper, Lettie Lang, news of the extent of her newfound wealth, her world begins to unravel as her husband brings in a battery of attorneys to join the small army of lawyers already fighting over Hubbard's will. Grisham, as always, is spot-on when it comes to matters of the bar, and the reader will learn a thing or two from him--for instance, that Mondays are the busiest days for divorce lawyers, "as marriages cracked over the weekends and spouses already at war ramped up their attacks." This being 1988, there's casual sexism aplenty in Grisham's tale; it being the flatland Deep South, there are heaping helpings of racial tension, and it's on that fact that the story turns. Grisham, as ever, delivers a vivid, wisecracking and tautly constructed legal procedural from which the reader might draw at least this lesson: You never want to wind up in front of a judge, even one as wise as the earwig-welcoming Reuben V. Atlee, and if you do, you want to have Jake Brigance on your side. Trademark Grisham, with carefully situated echoes of To Kill a Mockingbird. A top-notch thriller.
From the Publisher
Praise for the novels of John Grisham  

"John Grisham is about as good a storyteller as we've got in the United States these days." —The New York Times Book Review

"John Grisham is exceptionally good at what he does—indeed, right now in this country, nobody does it better." —Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post

"Grisham is a marvelous storyteller who works readers the way a good trial lawyer works a jury." —Philadelphia Inquirer

"John Grisham owns the legal thriller." —The Denver Post

"John Grisham is not just popular, he is one of the most popular novelists of our time. He is a craftsman and he writes good stories, engaging characters, and clever plots." —Seattle Times

"A legal literary legend." —USA Today

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385537131
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/22/2013
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 9,834
  • Product dimensions: 6.56 (w) x 9.56 (h) x 1.48 (d)

Meet the Author

JOHN GRISHAM is the author of twenty-six novels, one work of nonfiction, a collection of stories, and four novels for young readers.

www.doubleday.com

www.jgrisham.com

www.facebook.com/JohnGrisham

Biography

As a young boy in Arkansas, John Grisham dreamed of being a baseball player. Fortunately for his millions of fans, that career didn't pan out. His family moved to Mississippi in 1967, where Grisham eventually received a law degree from Ole Miss and established a practice in Southaven for criminal and civil law. In 1983, Grisham was elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives, where he served until 1990.

While working as an attorney, Grisham witnessed emotional testimony from the case of a young girl's rape. Naturally inquisitive, Grisham's mind started to wander: what if the terrible crime yielded an equally terrible revenge? These questions of right and wrong were the subject of his first novel, A Time to Kill (1988), written in the stolen moments before and between court appearances. The book wasn't widely distributed, but his next title would be the one to bring him to the national spotlight. The day after he finished A Time to Kill, Grisham began work on The Firm (1991), the story of a whiz kid attorney who joins a crooked law firm. The book was an instant hit, spent 47 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list, and was made into a movie starring Tom Cruise.

With the success of The Firm, Grisham resigned from the Mississippi House of Representatives to focus exclusively on his writing. What followed was a string of bestselling legal thrillers that demonstrated the author's uncanny ability to capture the unique drama of the courtroom. Several of his novels were turned into blockbuster movies.

In 1996, Grisham returned to his law practice for one last case, honoring a promise he had made before his retirement. He represented the family of a railroad worker who was killed on the job, the case went to trial, and Grisham won the largest verdict of his career when the family was awarded more than $650,000.

Although he is best known for his legal thrillers, Grisham has ventured outside the genre with several well-received novels (A Painted House, Bleachers, et al) and an earnest and compelling nonfiction account of small-town justice gone terribly wrong (The Innocent Man). The popularity of these stand-alones proves that Grisham is no mere one-trick pony but a gifted writer with real "legs."

Good To Know

A prolific writer, it takes Grisham an average of six months to complete a novel.

Grisham has the right to approve or reject whoever is cast in movies based on his books. He has even written two screenplays himself: Mickey and The Gingerbread Man.

Baseball is one of Grisham's great loves. He serves as the local Little League commissioner and has six baseball diamonds on his property, where he hosts games.

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    1. Hometown:
      Oxford, Mississippi, and Albemarle County, Virginia
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 8, 1955
    2. Place of Birth:
      Jonesboro, Arkansas
    1. Education:
      B.S., Mississippi State, 1977; J.D., University of Mississippi, 1981
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

1

They found Seth Hubbard in the general area where he had promised to be, though not exactly in the condition expected. He was at the end of a rope, six feet off the ground and twisting slightly in the wind. A front was moving through and Seth was soaked when they found him, not that it mattered. Someone would point out that there was no mud on his shoes and no tracks below him, so therefore he was probably hanging and dead when the rain began. Why was that important? Ultimately, it was not.

The logistics of hanging oneself from a tree are not that simple. Evidently, Seth thought of everything. The rope was three-quarter-inch braided natural Manila, of some age and easily strong enough to handle Seth, who weighed 160 pounds a month earlier at the doctor's office. Later, an employee in one of Seth's factories would report that he had seen his boss cut the fifty-foot length from a spool a week before using it in such dramatic fashion. One end was tied firmly to a lower branch of the same tree and secured with a slapdash mix of knots and lashings. But, they held. The other end was looped over a higher branch, two feet in girth and exactly twenty-one feet from the ground. From there it fell about nine feet, culminating in a perfect hangman's knot, one that Seth had undoubtedly worked on for some time. The noose was straight from the textbook with thirteen coils designed to collapse the loop under pressure. A true hangman's knot snaps the neck, making death quicker and less painful, and apparently Seth had done his homework. Other than what was obvious, there was no sign of a struggle or suffering.

A six-foot stepladder had been kicked aside and was lying benignly nearby. Seth had picked his tree, flung his rope, tied it off, climbed the ladder, adjusted the noose, and, when everything was just right, kicked the ladder and fell. His hands were free and dangling near his pockets.

Had there been an instant of doubt, of second-guessing? When his feet left the safety of the ladder, but with his hands still free, had Seth instinctively grabbed the rope above his head and fought desperately until he surrendered? No one would ever know, but it looked doubtful. Later evidence would reveal that Seth had been a man on a mission.

For the occasion, he had selected his finest suit, a thick wool blend, dark gray and usually reserved for funerals in cooler weather. He owned only three. A proper hanging has the effect of stretching the body, so Seth's trouser cuffs stopped at his ankles and his jacket stopped at his waist. His black wing tips were polished and spotless. His blue necktie was perfectly knotted. His white shirt, though, was stained with blood that had oozed from under the rope. Within hours, it would be known that Seth Hubbard had attended the 11:00 a.m. worship service at a nearby church. He had spoken to acquaintances, joked with a deacon, placed an offering in the plate, and seemed in reasonably good spirits. Most folks knew Seth was battling lung cancer, though virtually no one knew the doctors had given him a short time to live. Seth was on several prayer lists at the church. However, he carried the stigma of two divorces and would always be tainted as a true Christian.

His suicide would not help matters.

The tree was an ancient sycamore Seth and his family had owned for many years. The land around it was thick with hardwoods, valuable timber Seth had mortgaged repeatedly and parlayed into wealth. His father had acquired the land by dubious means back in the 1930s. Both of Seth's ex-wives had tried valiantly to take the land in the divorce wars, but he held on. They got virtually everything else.

First on the scene was Calvin Boggs, a handyman and farm laborer Seth had employed for several years. Early Sunday morning, Calvin had received a call from his boss. "Meet me at the bridge at 2:00 p.m.," Seth said. He didn't explain anything and Calvin was not one to ask questions. If Mr. Hubbard said to meet him somewhere at a certain time, then he would be there. At the last minute, Calvin's ten-year-old boy begged to tag along, and, against his instincts, Calvin said yes. They followed a gravel road that zigzagged for miles through the Hubbard property. As Calvin drove, he was certainly curious about the meeting. He could not remember another occasion when he met his boss anywhere on a Sunday afternoon. He knew his boss was ill and there were rumors he was dying, but, like everything else, Mr. Hubbard kept it quiet.

The bridge was nothing more than a wooden platform spanning a nameless, narrow creek choked with kudzu and crawling with cottonmouths. For months, Mr. Hubbard had been planning to replace it with a large concrete culvert, but his bad health had sidetracked him. It was near a clearing where two dilapidated shacks rotted in the brush and overgrowth and offered the only hint that there was once a small settlement there.

Parked near the bridge was Mr. Hubbard's late-model Cadillac, its driver's door open, along with the trunk. Calvin rolled to a stop behind the car and stared at the open trunk and door and felt the first hint that something might be out of place. The rain was steady now and the wind had picked up, and there was no good reason for Mr. Hubbard to leave his door and trunk open. Calvin told his boy to stay in the truck, then slowly walked around the car without touching it. There was no sign of his boss. Calvin took a deep breath, wiped moisture from his face, and looked at the landscape. Beyond the clearing, maybe a hundred yards away, he saw a body hanging from a tree. He returned to his truck, again told the boy to stay inside and keep the doors locked, but it was too late. The boy was staring at the sycamore in the distance.

"Stay here now," Calvin said sternly. "And don't get out of the truck."

"Yes sir."

Calvin began walking. He took his time as his boots slipped in the mud and his mind tried to stay calm. What was the hurry? The closer he got the clearer things became. The man in the dark suit at the end of the rope was quite dead. Calvin finally recognized him, and he saw the stepladder, and he quickly put the scene and the events in order. Touching nothing, he backed away and returned to his truck.

It was October of 1988, and car phones had finally arrived in rural Mississippi. At Mr. Hubbard's insistence, Calvin had one installed in his truck. He called the Ford County sheriff's office, gave a brief report, and began waiting. Warmed by the heater and soothed by Merle Haggard on the radio, Calvin gazed through the windshield, ignored the boy, tapped his fingers along with the wipers, and realized he was crying. The boy was afraid to speak.

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Interviews & Essays

AUTHOR'S NOTE SYCAMORE ROW

When A Time To Kill was published in 1989 it sold a few copies around Memphis, Jackson, and a couple of other hot spots in Mississippi, but it was unnoticed by the rest of the world. As an eager rookie, I was dreaming of royalties, foreign rights, a movie deal, and perhaps a larger publishing contract. None of these materialized, not in 1989 anyway. The book was ignored; my tiny publisher printed 5000 copies and we couldn't give them away. The Memphis newspaper trashed it and the Jackson paper refused to review it.

But it proved resilient. My second, third, and fourth books followed quickly, along with their movie adaptations, and somewhere in that frenzy A Time To Kill was discovered. One day in the summer of 1994 I caught myself gawking at the New York Times bestseller list ? all four books were at the top, with A Time To Kill number one in mass market. By then, it had sold five million copies.

And the book has remained popular. Its own movie version was released in 1996, did well at the box office, and in all likelihood it's somewhere on cable tonight. Today, after thirty books, A Time To Kill is still the bestselling book I've written. And it's by far the favorite, at least according to those who get close enough to offer an opinion. Countless times I've heard, "Hey, I like your books, but the first one is the best."

More often than not, this is followed up with a quick, "How about a sequel? Another story about Jake and Lucien and Harry Rex?" To which I usually respond, "I'm waiting on a story."

And so I've waited. For over twenty years I've thought about Jake Brigance and the characters in his world, and the aftermath of the Hailey trial. I've wondered how Jake was doing in Clanton, a deeply divided town, with the Klan hot on his tail, his home destroyed by a firebomb, his friends carrying guns to protect him. How were Jake and Carla coping as they picked up the pieces and started over? Did the Hailey trial make him a star, a lawyer in demand? Or was he still struggling to pay the rent?

I've gone back briefly to Ford County in other books, but never one involving Jake. Harry Rex Vonner, one of my favorites, has made a few cameos here and there, but nothing of substance. Lucien Wilbanks has appeared occasionally, but only in passing.

When I finished my second book, The Firm, my plan was to return to Clanton for another story. Then, I would write another legal thriller. Back and forth, back and forth, I would carve out my turf on the literary landscape with two kinds of books ? the legal thrillers, and the Ford County novels. Surely, somewhere in there I could find my niche and sell some books. The sudden success of The Firm, though, changed things dramatically, and I felt the urgency to pursue the legal thrillers. And, after twenty of them, I still enjoying piecing together the plots and pursuing the issues.

But Jake has never been far from my creative thoughts. Two years ago, a novel began to take shape. Unlike A Time To Kill, a story inspired by real events, this one has no basis in truth. Now that Sycamore Row is finished, I'm not sure where the idea came from, at least not in fact. I suppose the inspiration comes from the characters because, in writing it, I often felt as though I was having dinner with old friends. It was a delight to catch up with them, to hear their voices again, and to remember how they were thirty years ago. I hope they haven't changed much.

My wife, Renee, wasn't too keen on a sequel and her reason was simple: When I began writing A Time To Kill in 1984, I was the hungry young lawyer looking for the big case. I was struggling at the office and wondering where the clients were. We were living the life of Jake and Carla in a small town in Mississippi, just getting by and trying to survive. Happy, ambitious, but not sure the law was our ticket to success. That was a long time ago, and Renee worried it would be difficult to recapture the authenticity of that writer's voice. So much has changed. She was also worried about the possibility of a cool reception to a sequel. "They rarely work, you know?" she said more than once. "Fine," I said, "We just won't call it a sequel."

And so we're not. Renee read the first chapters of Sycamore Row and was soon on board. The story came together nicely and writing it became a pleasure. As always, it took about six months, not a long time in the writing business, but long enough. The last six weeks are usually tedious and tiring, as the deadline looms and I grow a little tired of my characters. Not so with Sycamore Row. Almost daily, I was tempted to, as we say, "chase a rabbit," or, in other words, pursue some long-winded and colorful tale involving Harry Rex or Lucien or another character. I could have written a thousand pages, but at some point the story had to end.

So I saved some material for the next time out.

John Grisham

Charlottesville, VA

October 15, 2013

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 1274 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(729)

4 Star

(272)

3 Star

(123)

2 Star

(62)

1 Star

(88)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 128 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2013

    I just finished reading Sycamore Row and could not put it down!

    I just finished reading Sycamore Row and could not put it down!  Wonderfully written, you feel as though you are right there with Jake Brigance throughout the book.  It has a lot of twists and turns and tells it like it was and is in the deep South.  I can't wait until his next book comes out! 

    81 out of 88 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2013

    I was taking a plane trip from San Diego airport to Seattle. Did

    I was taking a plane trip from San Diego airport to Seattle. Didn't have a book to read so purchased the first novel of John Grisham....started it as soon as we were in the air.....reached my destination and didn't want to put the book down....have been a fan of Grisham since....He is just the best. My entire family of myself,my husband and 5 children all feel the same way. Hard to put his books down.. Thank you John Grisham for all your wonderful stories.

    70 out of 86 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 31, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Grisham has done it again!  I've read all of his legal thrillers

    Grisham has done it again!  I've read all of his legal thrillers, and this is one of his best. I REALLY hope they consider making this a film, too.  
    I could not read the book fast enough.  Keep them coming!

    18 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 29, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I give Sycamore Row 5 stars.

    I give Sycamore Row 5 stars.

    10 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 29, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    A fantastic book. One of Grisham's best.

    A fantastic book. One of Grisham's best.

    8 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2013

    Hey, one star anonymous reviewer, reviewing a book you haven't r

    Hey, one star anonymous reviewer, reviewing a book you haven't read makes you "sownds" stupid. 

    8 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2013

    A good book if you like a twist with 20 pages left in the book t

    A good book if you like a twist with 20 pages left in the book that had nothing to do with the first 460 pages.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2013

    I must say I was very excited to get this book because A Time To

    I must say I was very excited to get this book because A Time To Kill is not only my favorite Grisham but one of my favorite books ever. However, with 85 pages to go in the book I kept waiting for it to get better. The sub-plot with the house was boring and tedious, there were so many ancillary characters that I just couldn't care about them. I would say it is worth a read, in paperback, don't spend the money on hardcover or Nook. 

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 3, 2013

    Slow and meandering. I had the feeling he wrote this book years

    Slow and meandering. I had the feeling he wrote this book years ago and just polished it up.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2013

    started off great but fast became every slow and borring, Very p

    started off great but fast became every slow and borring, Very predictable and dissapoiting.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2014

    Ggsff gcgggfghghfffffthfghghhvfggtfhgffgfcfxhdvvhggg

    VvfdffdddfdvffffccssZxfc vy cgdvfgdfcgvdcfvbvc vvhcvdcfcfv vbgbccc vgccvcvfgggghhvhgfvbhhg g jng, m hjnnnhm,b,jjjnn

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 16, 2013

    I have read more than half. I am not sure if I should waste time

    I have read more than half. I am not sure if I should waste time reading more. How many days does it take for John Grisham to write his novels, I wonder. It is simple, everything is as expected and to satisfy the reader. After reading a couple of award winner books back to back, I found this novel extremely simple. Disappointing. (It could be useful for people who are in litigation for inheritance..)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 20, 2013

    Good story, however, I was a little disappointed at the ending.

    Good story, however, I was a little disappointed at the ending. Seemed like the author just said to himself: it's time to end this book.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2013

    Huge Grisham fan - that being said this is the worst book I have

    Huge Grisham fan - that being said this is the worst book I have ever read. Total garbage.

    2 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2014

    Good read

    Grisham books are always good. A little drawn out . So many names to remember who was who. It got a little slow for me. Lots of information about estates planning that i wondered if it was all true. Still i would recormend and it was lendable so i can let a friend borrow it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 18, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Reading ¿Sycamore Row¿ reminds one of a boxing match, the early

    Reading “Sycamore Row” reminds one of a boxing match, the early part of which is filled with preliminary bouts, with jabs and uppercuts and left and right crosses, building up to the main event. And that’s just what happens in the novel until it reaches well past the half-way mark and the trial begins. Mr. Grisham certainly knows how to present a trial, expertly building the case, highlighting the lawyer’s actions, looking at the jury’s thinking.

    In this case, it revolves around the Last Will and Testament of one Seth Hubbard who, dying of metastatic lung cancer, committed suicide a day after writing a holographic Will, renouncing a prior Will, cutting out his family and leaving his fortune to his housekeeper and sometime care giver, a black woman who had worked for him for three years. Of course, the family contests the Will. And it is up to Jake Brigance as the attorney specifically chosen by Hubbard to represent the Estate “at all costs,” and to see that his instructions are carried out without question.

    The story takes place three years after Jake won the famous case in the Clanton, Mississippi, courthouse depicted in “A Time to Kill” that found his African-American client not guilty (by pleading insanity) of murdering a white man. Now, Jake has an equally controversial case by which an African-American woman stands to become the richest person in the State.

    And what’s next for Jake? Surely Mr. Grisham will not let this popular character die away.

    Recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    This reminded me why I'm a John Grisham fan :-). Many years ago

    This reminded me why I'm a John Grisham fan :-). Many years ago in college I read The Firm and then the Client and then was blown away by A Time to Kill. A Time to Kill solidified Grisham as my favorite author. Some of his books have been better than others and when he gets preachy, he's a bore to read. Unfortunately, he's getting preachy more and more often. Then along comes Sycamore Row. I loved it. This just doesn't bring back Jake Briggance, but every other characater from every other book set in Clanton. Of course Harry Rex Vonner is back, but so is judge Atlee (The Summons) and Will Traynor (The Jury). I could not put it down. A great read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2014

    Sycamore Row upholds the high standard expected of John Grisham'

    Sycamore Row upholds the high standard expected of John Grisham's novels. The author recreates a southern milieu extant in the 1970's and in it sets up another courtroom David versus Goliath battle. While following Jack Brigance through the legal jungle of the day we try to resolve a mystery as to why an extremely wealthy self-made Caucasian man would leave a stunning fortune to a Black housekeeper he'd known and employed only for a few years – and disinherit his family, excepting for a long-lost brother who may be long dead. Sycamore row was an easy, enjoyable read with a satisfying climax and denouement. I recommend it unreservedly.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2013

    In my opinion this was a really boring story. While I didn't kno

    In my opinion this was a really boring story. While I didn't know what the specifics of the ending would be I was still aware of the outcome. 
    There were a couple of times when I put the book down thinking not to finish it but then again I would pick it up thinking that it will surely
    get better.  Grisham has written some very good books but I would not include this as one of them. 


    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2013

    Great book, as usual John Grisham does an amazing job in making

    Great book, as usual John Grisham does an amazing job in making the characters and scene come to life!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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