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REVIEW The Mockingbird Next Door Life with Harper Lee î PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB ç To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is one of the best loved novels of the twentieth century But for the last fifty years the novel’s celebrated author Harper Lee has said almost nothing on the record Journalists haStory Nelle helped make sure she was getting the story and the South right Alice the keeper of the Lee family history shared the stories of their family  The Mockingbird Next Door is the story of Mills’s friendship with the Lee sisters It is a testament to the great intelligence sharp wit and tremendous storytelling power of these two women especially that of Nelle Mills was given a rare opportunity to know Nelle Harper Lee to be part of the Lees’ life in Alabama and to hear them reflect on their upbringing their corner of the Deep South h. Harper Nell Lee grew up and lived most of her life in Monroeville AL which is about an hour northeast of me so I kept up with her via reports from time to time in the local news Yet as many know she was generally shy highly averse to media and unwilling to give interviews It's my belief that as Ms Lee claimed just prior to publication of this bookrag she was duped into granting access to the author who had moved in next door saying she was working on a book staying only so long as needed to get enough copy for a manuscript and a handsome publisher's payoutNonetheless I was interested enough to borrow a copy to readThe kindest thing I can say about this book is that it was so so enough to read part of it all the way through borrowing a uip from Sam Goldwyn

Marja Mills Ë 6 REVIEW

Reat friendship In 2004 with the Lees’ blessing Mills moved into the house next door to the sisters She spent the next eighteen months there sharing coffee at McDonalds and trips to the Laundromat with Nelle feeding the ducks and going out for catfish supper with the sisters and exploring all over lower Alabama with the Lees’ inner circle of friends Nelle shared her love of history literature and the Southern way of life with Mills as well as her keen sense of how journalism should be practiced As the sisters decided to let Mills tell their. This is my own made up story because this is how the book sounded to me but then I dressed it up with fruitcakeAfter curling my hair I got my coat and hat on and headed out the door to visit Nellie at her home next door As I was walking across the yard to her home a gentle rain began falling In seconds my hair became limp so I headed back home and re curled it I got out my plastic rain bonnet and put it on my head You may remember the kind They fold up like an accordion and have a tie at each end Well maybe you don’t remember them but they unfold and go over your head Maybe they even still make them I put my coat back on and left my hat on a chair I stepped out the door and made it over the Nellie’s house I knocked and while I was knocking on her door my hair went limp again but she opened the door before I could go back home and fix it She was wearing black slacks a turuoise sweater and house slippers with bunny heads on top So cute but she was always cuteShe invited me inside and offered me green tea which is what I am about to drink right now in order to wake myself up We sat and visited for a while It was like every other time with her we just chatted about nothing This time though I asked her why she never wrote another book She said that she didn’t wish to write one because she would have to go to functions that her publisher wished her to attend I said “Why Cormac McCarthy is a famous writer and he never gives interviews or goes to functions that his publisher would have liked him to attend Like you he is private yet he still writes and sells books And further you don’t always do as you are told” She just gave me a strange look and I thought maybe I had better shut up So I changed the subject “Do you ever make fruitcakes” I asked “No” she replied with a different kind of strange look creeping up on her face “That was Truman’s book” “Oh yes” I said and then added “Do you like fruitcake” “NO” she replied giving three exclamation marks for emphasis Then I saved the day by telling her my own fruitcake story “I was a college student living in the city of Berkeley My roommate moved out leaving me 5 or 6 bottles of different liueurs with maybe a fourth of cup left in each I didn’t know what to do with them I didn’t really drink and still don’tBut Christmas was coming up and my employer gave me a fruitcake Maybe she didn’t like me or maybe it was given to her and passed on to me Either way she must not have liked me I thanked her and took it home That was when I got the brilliant idea to soak it in the liueurs After a few hours I decided to lie down on my bed watch TV and eat some fruitcake It was so good that I kept eating and then all the sudden I felt funny Dizzy What is wrong And then I passed out” I smiled at Nellie and then I added “Fruitcake can be made to be very delicious” She frowned Then I told her that I had an appointment to take my dog to the veterinarian So I put on my coat and my accordion rain bonnet She walked me to the door and I said to her “It is always so interesting visiting with you because you are always have so much to say” She replied “Yes We must visit again soon”

READ è PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB Ë Marja Mills

The Mockingbird Next Door Life with Harper LeeTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is one of the best loved novels of the twentieth century But for the last fifty years the novel’s celebrated author Harper Lee has said almost nothing on the record Journalists have trekked to her hometown of Monroeville Alabama where Harper Lee known to her friends as Nelle has lived with her sister Alice for decades trying and failing to get an interview with the author But in 2001 the Lee sisters opened their door to Chicago Tribune journalist Marja Mills It was the beginning of a long conversation and a g. Sorry this is so long If you have to go to the bathroom now might be a good timeIf it were possible to give this book zero stars I would but since doing so doesn't affect the overall rating I must reluctantly give it one undeserved star This is a book that never should have been published both because of the circumstances of its writing and because the content of the book itself is worthless and uninteresting The author Marja Mills and the publisher Penguin Press claim that the book was written with the blessing and cooperation of Harper Lee At the time that I read it I wasn't aware that Lee has twice categorically denied that claim first in 2011 when Penguin announced the book's acuisition and again in 2014 immediately after the book's releaseAccording to Mills a former reporter for the Chicago Tribune in 2001 she went to Monroeville Alabama where a then 76 year old Harper Lee known to her friends by her first name Nelle lived with her 91 year old sister Alice The purpose of Mills's visit was to do research on To Kill a Mockingbird which had been selected by the Chicago Public Library's One Book One Chicago program essentially a city wide book club Despite Nelle's decades long and well known aversion to publicity and reporters Mills claims that she uickly built a rapport with Alice and then with Nelle both of whom Mills says recognized that she was a uality person and repeatedly praised her for being a class act For the next three years she visited Monroeville freuently and in 2004 after going on disability leave she moved to Monroeville and rented the house next door to the Lee sisters For the next 18 months she spent almost every day with the sisters and their circle of friends doing laundry or having coffee at McDonald's or dinner at a local restaurant with Nelle several times a week and spending several hours every Sunday audiotaping Alice's recollections of the Lee family history all for a book she was planning to write about the sisters one which she says they approved of and encouragedHarper Lee has consistently maintained that Mills is lying In 2011 she issued the following statement through her attorneys Contrary to recent news reports I have not willingly participated in any book written or to be written by Marja Mills Neither have I authorized such a book Any claims otherwise are false Mills's response to that is that she has a letter purportedly written by Alice that essentially says that Harper Lee did not write and does not remember signing this statement The letter says poor Nelle Harper can’t see and can’t hear and will sign anything put before her by anyone in whom she has confidence Now she has no memory of the incident In a particularly pointed comment Mills states that she had Harper Lee's verbal support for the book before her stroke After the book's publication in 2014 Harper Lee reiterated her earlier statement that the book was written without her cooperation and hinting that Mills had taken advantage of her sister Alice who was 100 at the time she sent Mills the 2011 letter Sadly because of Mills who claims to be such a good friend to both Alice and Nelle Harper Lee these two sisters who have been devoted to each other for the entirety of their long lives are now on the record as publicly uestioning the other's mental competence And were you to read the book which I strongly recommend you do not you would see that all of this drama is for nothing as the book itself is all kinds of Not Good According to the book jacket Mills was given a rare opportunity to know Nelle to be part of the Lees' life in Alabama and to hear them reflect on their upbringing their corner of the Deep South how To Kill a Mockingbird impacted their lives and the reasons Nelle Harper Lee chose to never write another novel” For the sake of argument let's say that's true Let's say everything that Marja Mills now says about the Lees' cooperation is true and that she spent than five years as their closest confidante and recorder of their family history and that she's now written the book that decades of To Kill a Mockingbird fans have been waiting for If that were the case the only conclusion to be drawn is that Mills suandered her rare opportunity Because this is not a book about Harper Lee the Lee family history or even the two sisters It offers no special insight or background information about To Kill a Mockingbird or Monroe County Alabama or its fictional Maycomb County analog Despite the alleged years of interviews and hours and hours of taped interviews that Mills says she obtained there is nothing in this book that offers anything about those topics than what's already been published elsewhere in the occasional newspaper or magazine article about Lee or her friend and one time colleague Truman CapoteWhat this book is about is Marja Mills About her lupus her concern that she lacks a husband and child her money woes but mostly about how special she must be to have been included in the inner circle of one of world's most respected yet most private authors one with a well documented suspicion of reporters And Mills credits this all to herself To her being a class act person of uality who knew how to take just the right approach and tone with the Lee sisters so that they would trust her While Mills no doubt believes she's portraying herself as a solid journalist she came across to me as a bit of a con artistWhat she isn't is a good writer because my god is this book ever useless I would estimate that a good 40% of it is story after story of how she and Nelle went to McDonald's for coffee an