Jill's Reviews > Atticus

Atticus by Ron Hansen
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's review
Dec 31, 2007

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction

I've had this book sitting on my shelf for years. I bought it on a whim at a used book store because it was written by Ron Hansen, one of the few professors in the English Department of Santa Clara University that I had never taken a class from. After reading the book, of course, I wish I had been in one of his classes. The first paragraph of the book hooked me with it's poetic, precise language. Listen: "Weeds and sage were yellow against the snow and the snow strayed over the geography as though recalling how it was to be water. And just above the nodding horsehead pump were the sun and its exact copy, like the moons of another planet."

Hansen captures the landscape of both Colorado and Mexico. He captures the forgiving emotional turmoil of a father in mourning. He keeps you turning pages as the mystery of his son's death unfold. Above all, he modernizes the prodigal son story so that for the first time, I actually understand what is meant by this tale. It is no coincidence that the main character is named Atticus because he will win you over with his moral and loving character just as Mr. Finch did forty years ago.

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