Age Group: Adult
Published: September 28, 1997(first published 1993)
Publisher: Vintage (a division of Random House)
My Rating: *
A Lesson Before Dying is set in a small Cajun community in the late 1940s. Jefferson, a young black man, is an unwitting party to a liquor store shootout in which three men are killed; the only survivor, he is convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Grant Wiggins, who left his hometown for the university, has returned to the plantation school to teach. As he struggles with his decision whether to stay or escape to another state, his aunt and Jefferson's godmother persuade him to visit Jefferson in his cell and impart his learning and his pride to Jefferson before his death. In the end, the two men forge a bond as they both come to understand the simple heroism or resisting--and defying--the unexpected.If you just want to get to the review, skip this paragraph. Okay, first of all, I owe my readers a sincere apology. I'm really and truly sorry. Although excuses are never enough, I will tell a little about what has been happening in my life. I have just entered high school as a freshman, and homework is piling up as big as my TBR pile(that is A LOT). Silly old me thought classes would be so easy, and this is why I foolishly entered all PREAP and AP classes. But, if I want to enter medical school, I have to stick with this vigorous schedule. Anyways, well, there goes my excuse, but I promise(SWEAR) to TRY to balance my homework and book reading to at least do one review every week. Now, I'm sorry to disappoint you, but the review this week is a book completely out of my genre, so sorry if I bore you. I will try harder next time.
Let's see...I hate being forced to read a book by another person. Sure, recommending is fine, constantly insisting me to read a particular book is fine, but forcing me to read a book I know I won't like, is NOT FINE. Which is what happened with A Lesson Before Dying. So, this is not the book's fault, but it just lost one star.
Well, Jefferson was a wimp, and apparently, a "hog." I didn't understand. All of a sudden, Grant has to teach Jefferson to behave like a human. Jefferson resists. Almost at the last chapter, Jefferson all of a sudden changes. Magical!
I detested Vivian, Grant's girlfriend. I mean, she keeps telling Grant she will not run away with him, because she does not want to lose the children, and yet she keeps hanging out with him. We NEVER even meet the kids!! What kind of a mother is she?
I could just keep ranting on and on about this book, but I'll just tell you here and now. DO NOT EVER READ THIS BOOK!! I detested A Lesson Before Dying, and the only reason I picked this book up is because I was forced to. Maybe there is a deeper meaning in it, but I will not be the one to figure it out. Besides, I have to do three long projects, which does not make for a happy me.
And I had been on such a good reading streak. So much for that. The last I will do is explain why this book went to one(1) star.
One(1) star for being forced to read it, one(1) for quality, one(1) for plot, and one because it put me in a bad mood/and I have to do homework on it.
About the Author:
Ernest J. Gaines was born on a plantation in Pointe Coupee Parish, near New Roads, Louisiana, which is the Bayonne of all his fictional works. His previous books include A Gather of Old Men, In My Father's House, A Long Day in November, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, Bloodline, Of Love and Dust, and Catherine Carmier. He divides his time between San Francisco and the University of Southwestern Louisiana, in Lafayette, where he is writer-in-residence.
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**P.S.-I promise to only review these types of genres when I am forced to read them in school**