December's reading group book. I think this one suffers from the time and changes that have happened in the world since it was written and over exposure. Told from the point of view of an older Scout finch, this starts as a tale of childhood, with the children trying to tempt a reclusive Boo Radley out of his house. But it takes a dramatic turn when Atticus Finch is selected to defend a black man accused of raping a white woman. The whole feel of the book turns and there is the full range of human nature displayed. Scout doesn't always understand what is happening around her, and her innocence is, to some extent, a protection even as it is being slowly shredded. The world has moved on in the 50 years since this was written - we're now shocked by the fact that the jury finds Tom guilty, rather than shocked that they spend all afternoon deliberating over the verdict. And it has been written about and referred to so many times that you know the story almost before you start it, which also dilutes the impact. however, it is still a powerful tale of a man doing what he thinks to be the best, even as he knows it will have a detrimental impact on his family - but he feels compelled to do the right thing inspite of this.