October 11, 2017

Just Mercy

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
2014 Random House Audio
Read by the author
Finished on November 29, 2016
Rating: 3/5 (Good)

Publisher's Blurb:

A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time.

Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.

Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.

Well, if you look at all the 5-star ratings, I think I'm in the minority. I liked the book, but it didn't call to me when I wasn't listening. Not only that, but it took me almost an entire month to finish. Maybe the audio wasn't the best format. My mind wandered far too often as I was working and listening (yes, this is an old review from when I was still working at Barnes & Noble!). The individual stories blurred together to form a sad story of our history of jailing (and committing to death row) minors and minorities. A terribly sad account, yet very thought-provoking. In spite of my middle-of-the-road rating, I think this would make for a great book club discussion.


  1. I read this one and I probably wouldn't recommend the audio format. I think it's an important book that people should read. Sad yes but as you said - great for discussion.

    1. Juli, I completely agree. I really should have read this one in the print format. Maybe my book club will choose it, giving me the opportunity to give it a second chance.

  2. I agree that some so-so books generate great discussion. I'll add this to my list of book club possibilities.

    1. Kathy, this would really be a good choice for a book club!

  3. I keep looking at this one but I've always been under this impression that I would end up thinking I'd like it about as well as you did. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but there are just so many books that I feel like have greater potential.

    1. Lisa, I think it's worth a try, especially in the print format.


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