Willie Traynor applies for a newspaper job, never expecting to one day own the paper. When the long time owner, Spot, is declared bankrupt, Willie borrows money from his grandmother and becomes the owner of the Ford County Times and owns the paper for ten years. In the book, Willie talks about his ten years as owner and editor and of the friends he made, like Callie Ruffian, an African American woman with 7 children who have PhDs. He also discusses the most horrible crime he faced in Clanton, Mississippi, a brutal rape and murder of a young mother and the aftermath of this crime, which would haunt Willie and Clanton for many years.
This was my first John Grisham read and I did enjoy it. Willie was a young naive man who gains courage in his friendship with Callie and finally finds his voice in the paper. In the end he did mature some, mainly thanks to Callie, but the end is very bittersweet. There really was little happiness in the story and it is more a reflection of the 1970s and all the change that the decade brought. I would be interested in reading more of Grisham's novels and I give this one 4 cups of cocoa.