Tru and Nelle

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by G. Neri
Overall: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Ever since I read Mockingbird,* an adult biography of Harper Lee, I’ve been intrigued by the friendship between her and Truman Capote. This friendship is also the subject of this book and begins when they are 6 and 7, respectively. As 6/7 year olds, I found some of their language and actions to be unrealistically mature and I wonder how much research Neri did. I’d like to think he did a lot, and that a lot of the book is very accurate, but I also recognize that it’s a story for kids, so who knows. It does help shed a little light on their relationship, and there are some historical notes at the back. Overall, the story isn’t that strong (it’s more anecdotal and spans some three years) and seems more intended for adults, particularly those who have read To Kill a Mockingbird and will recognize Atticus, Scout, Jem, and Dill, and even Boo Radley, among the town’s characters. I also found it a bit eerie to be reading about the KKK near the end of its former heydey at a time when it appears to be ramping back up. Overall, it didn’t really grab me, and I don’t know who I’d give it to.
*I just learned Shields updated his biography to contain information about Go Set a Watchman. If you’re into that sort of thing.

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