Sycamore Row
Author: John Grisham
Publisher: Doubleday (2013)
Genre: Novel, legal thriller
Hardcover edition: 447 pages
Source: Library copy

This time he does it by returning the reader to the setting and characters of his earlier novel, A Time To Kill, one of the most popular novels of our time. Jake Brigance is again in his courtroom in Clanton, Mississippi, this time to uphold the recent handwritten will of a man named Seth Hubbard, dead by his own hand. The characters, some familiar, some new, are as fascinating and carefully drawn as we expect from this author. He breathes life into his supporting characters, making each memorable in a unique way.

Grisham is master of the legal thriller. When a reader wants a good run of a read, he or she is likely to choose a book by John Grisham. Here are some reasons why.

1.He knows his territory. He has lived and worked in the small-town South. He’s practiced law and knows something of lawyers, law offices, and the laws of the land.

2.He creates memorable characters. These characters entertain the reader. Readers step right up and drink in every detail. Supporting characters sport unique characteristics more engaging than a new wardrobe.

3.Grisham writes about the search for justice. Everyone wants justice. It may mean different things to different people; still the quest for justice and any part the legal system plays in that quest is intriguing to many of us. Grisham does not shy away from the topics of race, power, politics or pollution.

4.He knows how to write clear, believable plots with plenty of strings. All strings are carefully braided into the story. Loose ends or wasted paragraphs are not in evidence.

5.His titles are terrific, especially in terms of luring the reader to pick up the book.

Sycamore Row has been on the bestseller lists for weeks. He’s a popular author and with good reason. His books are fun to read and thought-provoking enough so that one feels time reading was well-spent.

Do you have a favorite Grisham book? Tell us which one. If you’ve read his new one, tell us what you thought of it. Thanks for joining the conversation.


  1. Upstate Dave

    I agree with all your comments. I read Sycamore Row and loved it. I also have liked his books that sturdy from the legal genre. “Playing for Pizza” is one example. Upstate Dave

    1. Post author

      Hey, Upstate Dave. Good to hear from you. This book reminded me how much I like John Grisham’s writing.

  2. Lee Egan

    I think I’ve read almost all of Grisham’s books including the few that are not legal thrillers. He keeps you wanting always to turn to the next page and, when finished, hoping that a new book will soon be on the horizon. Hard to choose a favorite, but it might be “A Time To Kill.

  3. Bonne

    I enjoyed SYCAMORE ROW very much. I agree with your statement that when having finished the book I felt as though my time was well spent. Your review was very accurate.


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