Karen asked:

Has anyone else read this book? Am I the only one who found it so aweful?

Julia Schult I read this book all the way through for a book club (discussion tomorrow). I enjoyed the content, but the writing annoyed me constantly. Don't get me wrong, I am very glad Marja wrote the book, but it lacked narrative flow, meaning paragraphs, chapters, and anecdotes jumped around in time, which was jarring. Let's see if I can describe what I mean...

Miss Mills would start with a quote or statement about something or someone. Then the next sentence would jump to something else that seems unrelated. Then she'd explain how the second thing relates to Nelle Harper or the book, then we'd find out how the quote or statement came about.

So basically, the book is a rambling, descriptive book about Marja Mills' relationship with two remarkable sisters, one of whom is famous and doesn't like to be written about. I am not surprised that listening to the book was more pleasant than reading it; the jumping around, seemingly random style is more suited to spoken English than written. Hearing it in a slow, Southern accent would evoke the feel of the life Miss Mills portrays.
Karen Samms As I wrote in my review, I had to force myself to finish it.
Janis Mills I did find it awful but I am more puzzled by people who want answers about reclusive writers including Lee and Salinger and why people like me read these "Inquirer" books trying to find answers.
Cathy Sargent It got mixed reviews at my book club. I got the audio and just loved it. The Southern accent made me feel that I was right there.

One member of my club felt that the book read more like a Memoir. She is an editor and said is not protocol for a journalist to be transparent about her own life such as Mills lupus disease.

Another member thought that the chapters were too chopped up without one narrative.

They also had a dialogue on the reasons that Harper may have balked regarding the book being published. Maybe Harper did not people prying into her personal life..like her remaining single? Was she gay?

Another mentioned that maybe Harper was getting overshadowed by her older sister who had more fascinating stories to tell?

Another was bored hearing about Harper in Manhatten without any details of what her activities were there.

I mentioned the alcohol issue...Harper had what you call "black line fever" drunk on the phone with friends...making accusations and then forgetting what she said the next day.

I loved the audio..loved the book..and thought that maybe Harper didn't want much fuss about her in a book as she said "entitlement" is the ugliest word in the english language...

She didn't want any more notoriety or a book about her.
Alison Conners Yes, and I enjoyed it. Maybe coming of age reading To Kill a Mockingbird, makes me interested in all things relevant and /or about it's author.
Image for The Mockingbird Next Door
Rate this book
Clear rating

About Goodreads Q&A

Ask and answer questions about books!

You can pose questions to the Goodreads community with Reader Q&A, or ask your favorite author a question with Ask the Author.

See Featured Authors Answering Questions

Learn more