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The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee
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Archive: Other Books > (POLL BALLOT) The Mockingbird Next Door / Marja Mills - 3.5***

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Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 5801 comments The Mockingbird Next Door Life with Harper Lee by Marja Mills
The Mockingbird Next Door: Life With Harper lee – Marja Mills
Audiobook narrated by Amy Lynn Stewart

Chicago Tribune journalist Marja Mills was sent to Monroeville Alabama on an assignment – the Chicago Public Library had picked To Kill a Mockingbird for it’s “One Book, One Chicago” project and her editor wanted some background. She had no real hope of interviewing Harper Lee, but decided she had to at least try. So she went to the Lee sisters’ home and rang the doorbell. She met Alice who graciously invited her in and spoke at length and on the record for the newspaper article. The next day Alice gave Mills more time and introduced her to their long-time friend and minister. And then the unexpected happened… Nelle Harper Lee called Mills and suggested they meet.

Over time Mills became friends with the sisters. A health crisis required her to take a bit of a sabbatical, and a warmer climate and gentler lifestyle were recommended, so she decided to rent a house in Monroeville. And that house was right next door to the Lees. In this book, Mills tries to chronicle her experiences over several years of shared meals, drives in the country, trips to the cemetery, and Scotch on the front porch, and what she learned from the sisters about the South, religion, faith, family and justice.

I found it engaging and interesting, though at time repetitive. I’m aware of the controversy that surrounded its publication, but that did nothing to diminish my enjoyment of this book.

Amy Lynn Stewart does a fine job of narrating the audiobook. There were times when I felt that Nelle or Alice was speaking directly to me, relating a story about their parents or a cousin’s automobile mishap.

LINK to my review

message 2: by NancyJ (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 5225 comments Great review. This sounds like a nice change of pace.

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