This is a collection of three short stories by Grisham that don’t have anything in common other than the law. I enjoyed the first story, “Homecoming”, the best because we once again visit Ford County and Jake Brigance. It’s not the courtroom thriller we are typically treated to in this setting, but it was great to read about the familiar characters that I’ve come to love. This time Jake is helping an attorney from Clanton, Mack Stafford, that notoriously, and allegedly, stole client money, left his unhappy marriage and children, and fled to parts unknown, never to be heard from again. Hearing that his ex-wife is dying, Mack returns to apologize and try to form a relationship with his daughters. The story is heartbreaking and uplifting and will make you yearn for more stories from Ford County.
In Strawberry Moon we meet Cody Wallace, a young man that was sentenced to death as a juvenile for participating in a robbery in which his brother killed a man. As I spent Cody’s last three hours with him, my emotions ranged from anger at the system, sympathy for the circumstances that landed Cody on death row, and hope and joy for the compassion one person showed to Cody during his short life.
The last story, Sparring Partners, was probably my least favorite in that it depicted greedy lawyers (which I take great umbrage with, being an attorney myself) behaving badly and trying to game the system. Not my cup of tea.
I don’t typically read short stories – I’ve never liked them – and didn’t realize this was a collection of short stories when I requested the book. That being said, I really enjoy John Grisham’s writing so I’m not mad at it. If you want to get the benefit of reading a Grisham story, but don’t have the time to devote to an entire book, this collection will serve your purposes perfectly. Even if you have time to read an entire book, this collection is a good read that you will enjoy.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and Doubleday Books. All opinions are my own.