An historic literary event: the publication of a newly discovered novel, the earliest known work from Harper Lee, the beloved, best-selling author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic....
Harper Lee’s Pulitzer prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep south - and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred....
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Keenly observed and written with his insightful and deadpan sense of humor, Bragg explores enduring Southern truths....
At the age of 22, Jennifer Worth left her comfortable home to move into a convent and become a midwife in postwar London’s East End slums....
Meet Ove. He's a curmudgeon - the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window....
They were the most prominent American family of the 20th century. The daughter they secreted away made all the difference....
As a war raged across the world, young American women flocked to work, painting watches, clocks, and military dials with a special luminous substance made from radium....
Survival for Ki Lim and Sang Ly is a daily battle at Stung Mean Chey, the largest municipal waste dump in all of Cambodia....
The smallest items can hold centuries of secrets. Inara Erickson is exploring her deceased aunt's island estate when she finds an elaborately stitched piece of fabric hidden in the house....
Lucy Barton is recovering slowly from what should have been a simple operation. Her mother, to whom she hasn't spoken for many years, comes to see her....
Comedy legend Carol Burnett tells the hilarious behind-the-scenes story of her iconic weekly variety series, The Carol Burnett Show....
While love and loyalty made them sisters, secrets could still destroy them. As children in foster care, Cecilia and Robin vowed they would be the sisters they had never had....
In 1948, a small stretch of the Woodmont, Connecticut, shoreline, affectionately named Bagel Beach, has long been a summer destination for Jewish families....
Addie Baum is "The Boston Girl", born in 1900 to immigrant parents who were unprepared for and suspicious of America and its effect on their three daughters....
When a girl is gruesomely murdered, thief taker Charlie Tuesday reluctantly agrees to take on the case. But the horrific remains tell him this is no isolated death....
Henry comes upon a crowd gathered outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle's Japantown. Boarded up for decades, now the new owner has made a discovery....
The sheriff's deputy at the front door brings hard news to Ree Dolly. Her father has skipped bail on charges that he ran a crystal meth lab....
To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, is one of the best-loved novels of the 20th century. But for the last 50 years, the novel's celebrated author, Harper Lee, has said almost nothing on the record. Journalists have trekked to her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, where Harper Lee, known to her friends as Nelle, has lived with her sister, Alice, for decades, trying and failing to get an interview with the author. But in 2001, the Lee sisters opened their door to Chicago Tribune journalist Marja Mills. It was the beginning of a long conversation - and a great friendship.
In 2004, with the Lees' blessing, Mills moved into the house next door to the sisters. She spent the next 18 months there, sharing coffee at McDonalds and trips to the Laundromat with Nelle, feeding the ducks and going out for catfish supper with the sisters, and exploring all over lower Alabama with the Lees' inner circle of friends.
Nelle shared her love of history, literature, and the Southern way of life with Mills, as well as her keen sense of how journalism should be practiced. As the sisters decided to let Mills tell their story, Nelle helped make sure she was getting the story - and the South - right. Alice, the keeper of the Lee family history, shared the stories of their family.
The Mockingbird Next Door is the story of Mills's friendship with the Lee sisters. It is a testament to the great intelligence, sharp wit, and tremendous storytelling power of these two women, especially that of Nelle.
Mills was given a rare opportunity to know Nelle Harper Lee, to be part of the Lees' life in Alabama, and to hear them reflect on their upbringing, their corner of the Deep South, how To Kill a Mockingbird affected their lives, and why Nelle Harper Lee chose to never write another novel.
I don't know if I trust Marja. I heard the NPR interview and still was unsure about her ethics. The content was flat and I didn't like the "selfie" vibe I got from Marja.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Oddly enough, the question of whether Harper Lee or her sister Alice contributed to this book can be argued without a genuine resolution. They are elderly, but not all elderly people are incompetent. The question can be; could this author have gathered her stories about the sisters without ever having spoken with them, and she pretty much could have. Which does not say she didn't speak to them, about the article she wrote about encouraging everyone in Chicago to read the same book at the same time, To Kill a Mockingbird. Although this is a an interesting, well written discussion about the woman who wrote to Kill a Mockingbird and her hometown, there is nothing new here. The book is well written, interesting, if you are new to Harper Lee's history, but if Harper Lee says she did not agree or contribute to a book, there is every reason to believe her.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful
Is there anything you would change about this book?
A new title. No real insights into Harper Lee; more about her sister and day-to-day life in a small Southern town. Not crazy about the reader.
What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?
The most interesting part was a few glimpses into Harper Lee's life, e.g. she doesn't have laundry facilities and home and uses a laundromat. Also, depiction of life among the seniors in flyover country. The least interesting? The depiction of life among the seniors in flyover country - eventually it got pretty repetitive and, at times, tedious.Harper Lee's older sister "Miss Alice," an attorney who practiced through her 90s and beyond, was much more interesting and forthcoming.
Did the narration match the pace of the story?
What else would you have wanted to know about Marja Mills’s life?
Not a thing - except maybe why a woman in her 40s on medical disability leave for Lupus would even consider adopting a baby. A very brief passage in the book.
Any additional comments?
I have very mixed feelings about this book, although, despite the controversy, I have no doubt that Harper Lee and her sister did indeed know that she was writing it. In fact, that was part of the problem - no real insight or revelations out of respect for the subject(s). It was kind of interesting in terms of a glimpse of the down-to-earth life of Harper Lee and some of her background. But it would have made a better magazine feature than book. I also had some issues with the reader. Perhaps her Southern accents and "character" voices were authentic, but they sounded like exaggerations and got a little annoying.
7 of 9 people found this review helpful
This story was interesting and I felt the author's enthusiasm for Nelle and Alice Lee. Learning more about the history of this family was great.
However, the narration wasn't my favorite. The woman had a nice voice but her delivery was a bit too "darling" for my taste.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
The book more than met my expectations. The narrator really made the book come alive. I would highly recommend the audio version to anyone who decides to read the book. I'm sure the live narration made difference for me between 4 and 5 stars.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
A good account oh Nell Harper Lee and her older sister, Alice. Doesn't concentrate on the book as much asI had expected. Provides a good look at a small Southern town and the social arrangements that exist there.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I found this to be a charming book and very readable book. No reporter has gotten close to the reclusive writer other than Maja Mills. In 2001 she flew to Monroeville Alabama to write about her for The Chicago Tribune. She told Alice about the Chicago library’s “One Book, One City” to celebrate the 41 anniversary of the publishing of “To Kill A Mockingbird”. To Mills surprise the sisters gave her a brief interview. Alice Finch Lee was born in 1911 and is the older sister. She is the measured steady one and is still a practicing attorney. Maja Mills had been diagnosed with Lupus in 2004 and was out on disability from The Chicago Tribune. Consequently, she moved to Monroeville, Alabama next door to the Lee sisters home. Mills states the move was with the permission of the Mills sister and with the understanding she was going to write a book. She entered easily into the world of the Lee’s and their friends. They all shared aching joints and free time to talk about books, local history, to go fishing and long car rides into the country. The book provides a rich sense of the daily texture of the Lee sister’s lives.
The author is respectful guest of the Lee sisters, so don’t expect insider gossip. Mills describes Nelle Harper Lee (born 1926) as a down-to-earth, self assured, spirited, spontaneous, quick-witted and passionate. She is also impatient and has a temper. The author repeatedly tells of what good company the Lee sisters are. When ask about the name Harper they explain the middle name Harper, was a tribute to the doctor who saved the life of Louise (the middle sister). Mills delves into Harper Lee’s relationship with Truman Capote, who appears as Dill Harris in “Too Kill A Mockingbird”. Truman lived with his aunt next door to the Lee’s a few years when they were all children.
The publisher delayed the publishing of the book because Harper Lee published a letter saying she did not participate in the book and did not authorize it. Alice Lee wrote a letter to the publisher saying both she and Harper Lee participated knowingly and willing in the book. So the publisher went ahead with the release of the book.
“To Kill A Mockingbird” was published in 1960, won the Pulitzer Prize and became a classic of American literature. It still sells some 750,000 copies annually and is now sold in e-book and audio format. Harper Lee stopped talking to the press in 1965.
I enjoyed the book and found it to a relaxing read. Amy Lynn Stewart did an excellent job narrating the book.
7 of 11 people found this review helpful
If you could sum up The Mockingbird Next Door in three words, what would they be?
I found myself loving Alice, the eldest sister of Harper Lee. Harper has her reasons for her wish and need for privacy. I can accept that and her reasons are none of our business and yet, she did reach out to this young woman and did share. I felt the sharing was warm and intimate. I did not feel it an invasion of privacy. I appreciated hearing the bits and pieces of their lives, their character and loves. <br/><br/>Living as a transplant to a small rural Southern town myself I did grow to understand things that eluded me such as our book club members clinging to the "home place". After listening to the book I now understand that it is an inner draw, a history, a belonging. <br/><br/>I feel richer for the book. I am glad I listened.<br/><br/>
3 of 5 people found this review helpful
I simply could't put this one down! I felt like I was right along on those long rides down country roads and chats with "Nell" Harper Lee and her sister Alice. If you're s fan of "To Kill a Mockingbird," you'lol love this book too!
What made the experience of listening to The Mockingbird Next Door the most enjoyable?
The reader, Amy Lynn Stewart, does an amazing job of channeling Miss Alice Lee. I've heard recordings of Alice over the years and heard first-hand accounts from my wife, who had met her. So I have enormous praise for Stewart's talents in recreating her voice. I have less with which to gauge her performance of Nelle Harper Lee. But the reader sounds like another prominent Alabama woman I do know, so the performance seems authentic to me.
What was one of the most memorable moments of The Mockingbird Next Door?
Which character – as performed by Amy Lynn Stewart – was your favorite?
Hard to say.
Any additional comments?
My mother was a voracious reader and wry commentator on small town life around us. This household reminded me of my own.
I love To Kill A Micking Bird. This book was facinating to read. I have learned so much about Nel Harper and her life. A eeally lovely book.
I thought I'd enjoy it, but didn't realise I wouldn't be able to stop listening!