Atticus Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Atticus

Atticus Cody receives a phone call to tell him the devastating news that his son Scott has committed suicide in Mexico. Scott, an alcoholic, a druggie, and a former mental patient, had always been Atticus's difficult child, but nevertheless, Scott was the one whom Atticus most loved. Atticus, the conservative rancher, sets off to Mexico to attend the funeral and to retrieve the body of his son.
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Atticus is greeted in Mexico by Renata, Scott's sometime lover. She takes Atticus to the sites where Scott frequented, to the funeral where Atticus sees Scott's gruesome body, and to the house where Scott shot himself. Not everything Atticus sees, however, seems to add up. The clothes Scott died in don't have consistent blood marks. Why did a little girl see Scott sleeping in the passenger seat of his car outside the house just before he died? Why did Scott buy a plane ticket to Germany? Atticus begins to investigate Scott's life, and he determines that Scott had been murdered. Atticus tracks the clues to the basement of a church which is inhabited by homeless people. Atticus descends into the basement where he finds his son Scott alive.

Scott then takes up the narrative himself to explain the events which led up to the odd situation. Scott had accidentally run over a women while driving drunk one night. A man named Reinhardt, who looked much like Scott had saved him and helped him to flee the scene. Nevertheless, the dead woman's fiancÚ had discovered the truth of the even and had come to Scott's house with the intention of achieving revenge. The fiancÚ, however, killed Reinhardt instead. Scott saw in the murder a way of escaping his tortured existence and of saving his life from the family of the woman he ran down. As a result, he made the murder like his own suicide and disappeared into the underworld until he could escape to Europe. Atticus, however, has found his son. The questions then remain of whether or not Scott will accept his responsibility for the woman's death and whether or not Scott will ever return to his forgiving father.

The review of this Book prepared by J.C. Pierce

Chapter Analysis of Atticus

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1980's-1999 Family, struggle with    -   Yes Struggle with:    -   Son Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   farmer Age:    -   60's-90's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


The Americas (not US):    -   Yes The Americas:    -   Mexico

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Ron Hansen Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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