Saturday, 23 February 2013

The Confession

Title:The Confession
Author: John Grisham 
Source: Borrowed 
Last Word - An absolute page-turner 

Afazal Guru (convicted for attack on the Indian Parliament in 2001) and Ajmal Kasab(convicted for Mumbai attacks in 2008) were guilty and were hanged. But Donte should have walked off scot- free. Just because he was a black, he was convicted and killed. The color of his skin spelled his doom. 

The Confession makes you cry. I've choked many a times. I've prayed many a times. But my prayers never got heard. Donte Drumm  was never released. Thanks to the Texas authorities who went out of their way to ensure that reprieve eluded him. On the contrary, they coerced him to confess a crime he had never committed. 

Grisham's narration is gripping. The book keeps you hooked all along. Donte Drumm - a young black man is convicted for killing Nicole.Yarber, a highschool cheer leader. Lawyer Robbie Flak is fighting a lost case for Drumm. Whites claim that Drumm killed this white woman. But, blacks are sure of his innocence. The animosity of whites toward the blacks is quite palpable. This helps white police and persecutors to successfully fabricate a case against Drumm and he is found guilty. Though the case is weak,
chancces of reprieve are dim. So much for the color of the skin. Robbie and his team pulls out all stops. His efforts did pay off, finally. But it was too late for Donte. 

You can't fight fate
The author narrates the story from the point of view of young pastor Keith from Kansas. Keith is unwittingly drawn into the story when the real culprit Travis Boyette, suffering from inoperable brain tumor, confesses to him about the crime. How Keith struggles to make the facts known to the world also makes an interesting read. 

Grisham has unabashedly brought out the white-black divide and how political and legal forces shamelessly cash on it. The divide is similar to the divide we face in the city of Ahmedabad. Ghettos in the U.S. seem similar to the Hindu and Muslim ghettos in Ahmedabad and in other major parts of India. The hatred runs in their genes...literally. Back to the Confession, the closing is excellent, when the two communities, irrespective of their color, come together and unite in a common cause - too punish Drumm's culprits.

Thoughtful lines
1] Who, exactly gives us the right to kill. If, killing is wrong, why are we allowed to kill. Donte's killing was similar to killing an old dog, a lame horse, or a laboratory rat. 

2] It's man's nature to strike back, but the second blow leads to the third, and the fourth. 

3] Father, into your hands I commend my spirit
4] He talked about the urge for revenge and how Jesus turned the other cheek.  

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