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Sycamore Row!

Updated on November 28, 2015

Sycamore Row!

In my opinion, John Grisham could do no wrong in my eyes. This book, although long, was an amazing read and I enjoyed every single page. It was set in the late 1980s, where a man by the name of Seth Hubbard was found dead. He committed suicide by hanging himself from a Sycamore tree. The story also follows a young lawyer by the name of Jack Brigance who was also a lead in the book "A time to kill". Before Seth died, he sent Jake a handwritten will that was set to arrive to Jake's office on the day of Seth's untimely passing. He named Jake as head of his estate whom was to also carry out the will. Seth had a black maid whom he left a majority of his estate to which was very controversial back then. He also took his ungrateful children out of the will and gave the rest of his assets to the church. Upon his children's arrival in town, they immediately told the maid that her services will no longer be needed after the funeral. This was largely due to the fact that they didn't want to pay her out of pocket and they didn't have much use for her. Their maid had a house full of family members depending on her for their next meal. She didn't know what she was going to do. She only had so much money saved and knew that it would be gone in no time. It didn't help that she had a good for nothing husband that came and went as he pleased. What kept her hopeful was remembering that Seth said he would leave her a little something. It wasn't until Jake arrived at her home that she found out that Seth left about 90% or so of his estate to her, which took her by surprise. Of course, Jake being in charge of the estate had to prep her for court. He had to ask questions the other lawyers would grill her on, one of those questions being if she coerced him into writing this will. They would also ask if she and Seth had an intimate relationship in which the answer was no. Jake stated that because she drove Seth to his place of employment where he wrote the note, she had time to oversee it. During court, the attorney's of the original will questioned Seth's state of mind seeing as though he was terminally ill and was going to die. They tried to state that the medicine he was taking was affecting his judgment around the time of the will being written and therefore could not be used in the court of law. A few members of Seth's church along with his employees testified that Seth was acting normal just before he died and that he was his usual self. Another problem was having to track down all of Seth's assets to determine how much his estate was worth. Because Seth had been married and divorced about two/three times, he had learned to hide his assets fairly well. Jake had to get into contact with one of Seth's old employee's who told him everything he knew. Apparently Seth had done well for himself considering that he was broke for a while. Jake estimated Seth's estate to be worth upwards of 20 million dollars. If his maid had won, this would make her the richest black woman in that part of town. After finding this information out, the maid hired some black lawyers from a different state which was a bad move. Jake, although not her lawyer, advised her to drop them from her team as it was only causing a media frenzy and circus. Eventually she listened and stuck with Jake as her attorney. The fight between Seth's family and the maid had become toxic with both sides believing that they were the ones who were deserving of the estate. The maid also saw a lot of family members that she either didn't know or haven't seen in a while coming to her home to ask for handouts. Sometimes she would give, other times she would turn them away. It didn't help that her husband was only sticking around because he found out she could potentially inherit a lot of money. She noticed that his whole behavior changed and he wasn't as violent anymore. She figured it was because he wanted a piece of the pie. Even though Jake was getting paid monthly by the estate to carry out Seth's wishes, a lot of time had went by and neither side of attorney's wanted to give up the large estate. Jake finally convinced the maid and the children to spilt the money with the children each getting an equal amount and the maid also getting a fairly large sum. The rest of the money went to the church. In the end Jake found out that the reason why Seth left his property to his maid and such a large portion of his estate to her was because the property was rightfully hers and that back in the 1920s/30s his family had stolen it from her family. By giving her back her property, Seth was trying to do what was right even in death.


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