By: John Grisham
Essence: a typically agricultural family setting, harvest, hired labour, murder, secrets, family, fears, silence, loans, testing times

I read this book while journeying on train and finished it in like 9 hours which is pretty good by my reading speed standards. But that doesn't mean it's a good book does it :-P

Well, it is NOT a good book. No way. Still it had its finer points and good details.

I took this book just coz it was by Grisham and it wasn't about judges and lawyers and stuff. That's coz I don't enjoy that subject too much (atleast as of now). I knew that Grisham was the master when it came to law etc but then I came across this book and I thought it would be the perfect way for me to start out with Grisham since it's not about law. BIG MISTAKE.

If an author writes well about a particular subject and then takes out a book on some other subject, better think twice before buying it.

Anyways, the positives.
The characters in the story and very very well made and they actually grow on you. This was one thing in the book that I was really impressed with. You can almost feel like you know the characters as though they were your friends or something. You immediately start hating the characters that the author wants you to hate.
Then, it had a very nice ambience and atmosphere in the sense that it depicts the life of a totally agricultural family and hence their farms, loans etc etc. I know it sounds boring but you'll immediately be captured by the setting of the tale. This also makes the story very real like and at no point you feel like "this can't happen" and stuff. There is also this serenity in the setting.
Lastly, the book has been told through a seven-year old child's point of view and this makes the narrative very enjoyable. You can immediately sense the kid's innocence and fear and also his mischievous nature.

Negatives then. Very boring. Just can't change that. It drags A LOT. The second half has almost nothing to it and I was reading through it just coz I was expecting something to happen, just waiting for some incident. Even at the last page I was like "ok, ok, something might still happen". It didn't.
Also, there were a few things that would make you feel that a seven-year old kid has been portrayed rather too heroically. It goes slightly beyond reality.
The incidents and suspense aren't really very capturing and actually, not intriguing at all.

I will end with this statement that captures my views on the book - "Not the right book to start off your Grisham campaign."