Sycamore Row: A Novel

Paperback | August 19, 2014

byJohn Grisham

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
 
Don’t miss an original essay by John Grisham in the back of the book.

John Grisham takes you back to where it all began. One of the most popular novels of our time, A Time to Kill established John Grisham as the master of the legal thriller. Now we return to Ford County as Jake Brigance finds himself embroiled in a fiercely controversial trial that exposes a tortured history of racial tension.
 
Seth Hubbard is a wealthy man dying of lung cancer. He trusts no one. Before he hangs himself from a sycamore tree, Hubbard leaves a new, handwritten will. It is an act that drags his adult children, his black maid, and Jake into a conflict as riveting and dramatic as the murder trial that made Brigance one of Ford County’s most notorious citizens, just three years earlier. The second will raises many more questions than it answers. Why would Hubbard leave nearly all of his fortune to his maid? Had chemotherapy and painkillers affected his ability to think clearly? And what does it all have to do with a piece of land once known as Sycamore Row?
 
Praise for Sycamore Row
 
“Powerful . . . immensely readable . . . the best of his books.”The Washington Post
 
“Welcome back, Jake. . . . [Brigance] is one of the most fully developed and engaging characters in all of Grisham’s novels.”USA Today
 
“One of [Grisham’s] finest . . . Sycamore Row is a true literary event.”—The New York Times Book Review

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From the Publisher

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER  Don’t miss an original essay by John Grisham in the back of the book. John Grisham takes you back to where it all began. One of the most popular novels of our time, A Time to Kill established John Grisham as the master of the legal thriller. Now we return to Ford County as Jake Brigance finds himself embroiled in a fiercely controversial trial that exposes a tortured ...

John Grisham is the author of a collection of stories, a work of nonfiction, three sports novels, four kids’ books, and many legal thrillers. His work has been translated into forty-two languages. He lives near Charlottesville, Virginia.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:656 pages, 7.5 × 4.2 × 1.6 inPublished:August 19, 2014Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0345543246

ISBN - 13:9780345543240

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sycamore row Enjoyed this enormously. It,s good to catch up with old friends, the story keeps you glued to the book!
Date published: 2015-10-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another Grisham Favourite! I always find it difficult to get into another writer's work after reading a John Grisham novel! For me, no one else has this ability.
Date published: 2015-09-08
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Cycamore Row Too predictable right from the beginning. Not up to the usual standards of other Grisham books. No suspense.
Date published: 2015-08-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sycamore Row This book highlights the fact that there are people of all race, origin and culture that struggle with the past and want o fix the negatives and stereotypes but need someone to believe that it can be done Always enjoy Johns books
Date published: 2015-08-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing.. Awesome. Full of twists and turns. Things kept popping up that surprised me. A great read. Another John Grisham masterpiece.
Date published: 2015-05-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Sycamore Row A great read in true Grisham Style. I loved revisiting Jake Brigance, Harry Rex Vonner and Judge Atlee and hope to be able to go back again someday.
Date published: 2015-05-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sycamore Row. I think Mr. Grisham writes a good story and one learns about the law in America. Sycamore Row was interesting because in bought out a lot of feelings that people still have. It was great that in the end it brought people together. You know there is only one race, and it is human. M. Fisher.
Date published: 2015-04-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really Captivating Loved it from beginning to end and if it was another 500 pages I would have continued to enjoy it. Probably my favorite Grisham book!
Date published: 2015-03-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sycamore Row This was a great book. I really enjoyed it. The characters were real and down to earth. Another great read from John Grisham
Date published: 2015-02-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible!!!!! Locked me in from the first page!! Truly a joy to read a tome with such depth and thought. This is one of my favorites and surely an instant classic.
Date published: 2015-02-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sycamore Row Grisham does a great job of keeping the reader engaged throughout what could be a rather dull process in will judgement. Once I got into it, I couldn't put it down.
Date published: 2015-01-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Syvamore Row Great use of characters from A Time To Kill . Completely different isues but similar in many ways. History of south still having huge affect on lives . Great resolution.
Date published: 2015-01-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down... Being a fan of A Time to Kill, I was excited for Sycamore Row. Grisham did not disappoint taking us back to the south inside the courthouse with Jake Brigance, Harry Rex and the drunken Lucien Wilbanks. Fingers crossed that this too makes it to the big screen.
Date published: 2014-12-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sycamore row Awesome, captivating just makes you want Amazing, captivating, makes you just want more. Can't wait to go back to Ford County.
Date published: 2014-11-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sycamore Row Awesome book. Don't want to put it down. Another good book by John Grisham.
Date published: 2014-11-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another excellent novel from Grisham John Grisham does it again. An engaging read with a great plot. A once you start you can't put it down read!
Date published: 2014-10-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly recommended Great sequel and looking forward to the next in this series!
Date published: 2014-10-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Good Story! This is quite a good story especially if you are interested in a career as a lawyer. There is a lot of detail on preparing for the trial, seeking witnesses, and the actual trial itself. I was captivated right at the beginning and found it to be an easy satisfying read right to the end.
Date published: 2014-10-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Well worth the wait Like catching up with old friends, loved this book.
Date published: 2014-10-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Sycamore row Great interesting story
Date published: 2014-10-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Sycamore Row Loved every minute of the read, another great journey from Grisham
Date published: 2014-10-20

Extra Content

Read from the Book

1They found Seth Hubbard in the general area where he had promised to be, though not exactly in the condition expected. He was at the end of a rope, six feet off the ground and twisting slightly in the wind. A front was moving through and Seth was soaked when they found him, not that it mattered. Someone would point out that there was no mud on his shoes and no tracks below him, so therefore he was probably hanging and dead when the rain began. Why was that important? Ultimately, it was not.The logistics of hanging oneself from a tree are not that simple. Evidently, Seth thought of everything. The rope was three-quarter-inch braided natural Manila, of some age and easily strong enough to handle Seth, who weighed 160 pounds a month earlier at the doctor's office. Later, an employee in one of Seth's factories would report that he had seen his boss cut the fifty-foot length from a spool a week before using it in such dramatic fashion. One end was tied firmly to a lower branch of the same tree and secured with a slapdash mix of knots and lashings. But, they held. The other end was looped over a higher branch, two feet in girth and exactly twenty-one feet from the ground. From there it fell about nine feet, culminating in a perfect hangman's knot, one that Seth had undoubtedly worked on for some time. The noose was straight from the textbook with thirteen coils designed to collapse the loop under pressure. A true hangman's knot snaps the neck, making death quicker and less painful, and apparently Seth had done his homework. Other than what was obvious, there was no sign of a struggle or suffering. A six-foot stepladder had been kicked aside and was lying benignly nearby. Seth had picked his tree, flung his rope, tied it off, climbed the ladder, adjusted the noose, and, when everything was just right, kicked the ladder and fell. His hands were free and dangling near his pockets.Had there been an instant of doubt, of second-guessing? When his feet left the safety of the ladder, but with his hands still free, had Seth instinctively grabbed the rope above his head and fought desperately until he surrendered? No one would ever know, but it looked doubtful. Later evidence would reveal that Seth had been a man on a mission.For the occasion, he had selected his finest suit, a thick wool blend, dark gray and usually reserved for funerals in cooler weather. He owned only three. A proper hanging has the effect of stretching the body, so Seth's trouser cuffs stopped at his ankles and his jacket stopped at his waist. His black wing tips were polished and spotless. His blue necktie was perfectly knotted. His white shirt, though, was stained with blood that had oozed from under the rope. Within hours, it would be known that Seth Hubbard had attended the 11:00 a.m. worship service at a nearby church. He had spoken to acquaintances, joked with a deacon, placed an offering in the plate, and seemed in reasonably good spirits. Most folks knew Seth was battling lung cancer, though virtually no one knew the doctors had given him a short time to live. Seth was on several prayer lists at the church. However, he carried the stigma of two divorces and would always be tainted as a true Christian. His suicide would not help matters.The tree was an ancient sycamore Seth and his family had owned for many years. The land around it was thick with hardwoods, valuable timber Seth had mortgaged repeatedly and parlayed into wealth. His father had acquired the land by dubious means back in the 1930s. Both of Seth's ex-wives had tried valiantly to take the land in the divorce wars, but he held on. They got virtually everything else.First on the scene was Calvin Boggs, a handyman and farm laborer Seth had employed for several years. Early Sunday morning, Calvin had received a call from his boss. "Meet me at the bridge at 2:00 p.m.," Seth said. He didn't explain anything and Calvin was not one to ask questions. If Mr. Hubbard said to meet him somewhere at a certain time, then he would be there. At the last minute, Calvin's ten-year-old boy begged to tag along, and, against his instincts, Calvin said yes. They followed a gravel road that zigzagged for miles through the Hubbard property. As Calvin drove, he was certainly curious about the meeting. He could not remember another occasion when he met his boss anywhere on a Sunday afternoon. He knew his boss was ill and there were rumors he was dying, but, like everything else, Mr. Hubbard kept it quiet. The bridge was nothing more than a wooden platform spanning a nameless, narrow creek choked with kudzu and crawling with cottonmouths. For months, Mr. Hubbard had been planning to replace it with a large concrete culvert, but his bad health had sidetracked him. It was near a clearing where two dilapidated shacks rotted in the brush and overgrowth and offered the only hint that there was once a small settlement there.Parked near the bridge was Mr. Hubbard's late-model Cadillac, its driver's door open, along with the trunk. Calvin rolled to a stop behind the car and stared at the open trunk and door and felt the first hint that something might be out of place. The rain was steady now and the wind had picked up, and there was no good reason for Mr. Hubbard to leave his door and trunk open. Calvin told his boy to stay in the truck, then slowly walked around the car without touching it. There was no sign of his boss. Calvin took a deep breath, wiped moisture from his face, and looked at the landscape. Beyond the clearing, maybe a hundred yards away, he saw a body hanging from a tree. He returned to his truck, again told the boy to stay inside and keep the doors locked, but it was too late. The boy was staring at the sycamore in the distance."Stay here now," Calvin said sternly. "And don't get out of the truck.""Yes sir."Calvin began walking. He took his time as his boots slipped in the mud and his mind tried to stay calm. What was the hurry? The closer he got the clearer things became. The man in the dark suit at the end of the rope was quite dead. Calvin finally recognized him, and he saw the stepladder, and he quickly put the scene and the events in order. Touching nothing, he backed away and returned to his truck. It was October of 1988, and car phones had finally arrived in rural Mississippi. At Mr. Hubbard's insistence, Calvin had one installed in his truck. He called the Ford County sheriff's office, gave a brief report, and began waiting. Warmed by the heater and soothed by Merle Haggard on the radio, Calvin gazed through the windshield, ignored the boy, tapped his fingers along with the wipers, and realized he was crying. The boy was afraid to speak.