MOCKINGBIRD A Portrait of Harper Lee by Charles J. Shields

MOCKINGBIRD A Portrait of Harper Lee by Charles J. Shields, (c) 2006. This is an autobiography of Nelle Harper Lee who wrote TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. Nelle was quite the nonconformist growing up. I even think she may have been a closet gay woman. I thought she may have had an affair with her high school teacher. Now keep in mind I have a vivid imagination and I certainly can use it, this is just my idea I have no proof! She never dated or married, and kept to herself. She was quite masculine all her life. I admit to being bored in many chapters which I skipped over. I did

I did find out Dill in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD was modeled after Truman Capote her neighbor. Jem was modeled after her brother Edwin, and Atticus Finch was modeled after her father H.C. Lee. She wanted the book to be titled ATTICUS! The publisher wanted it called TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.


THE QUEEN OF WATER by Laura Resau, (c) 2011. A novel based on a true story. So this one isn’t exactly a biography, or autobiography, but most of the facts are correct as remembered, but the memory is a flawed thing. Why does it seem most memoirs are so sad? Awful things have happened to almost everyone, but an occasional person will have had a magical childhood and life. I think they are few and far between. Sorry to get so sidetracked! Here’s the story line from the back of the book:

Born in an Andean village in Equador, Virginia lives with her large family in a small earthen walled dwelling. In her village of indigenous, it is not uncommon to work in the fields all day, even as a child, or to be called longa tonta -stupid Indian- by members of the ruling class of mestizos, or Spanish descendants. When seven year old Virginia is taken from her village to be a servant to a mestizo couple, she has no idea what the future holds.

Virginia quickly grows accustomed to the conveniences and luxuries of mestizo life. But promised pay and visits to her family are quickly forgotten, as is her bosses pledge to send her to school. Beaten and told that the sole purpose of indigenous girls is to serve, Virginia must fight to hold on to her spirit and humor. She teaches herself to read and write and performs science experiments in secret.

When Virginia’s only friend betrays her, she must gather her courage and escape. But once she’s found her freedom, will Virginia- now a teenager caught between cultures- also also find a place where she belongs?

Maria Virginia Farinango collaborated with Laura Resau to write her own life story.

NOTE: I am quite sure this would make a great movie. I’m enjoying the book so far.