Sycamore Row Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 24 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Sycamore Row.
This section contains 688 words
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Sycamore Row Summary & Study Guide Description

Sycamore Row Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on Sycamore Row by John Grisham.

Sycamore Row is a novel by John Grisham. Returning to his roots, the author brings back the beloved characters of A Time to Kill to take on a new case. Seth Hubbard, dying of cancer, has taken his own life. Before doing so, however, he sends a handwritten will to Jake Brigance with orders to defend it at all costs. This will leaves the largest fortune ever seen in Ford County to Mr. Hubbard’s maid at the exclusion of his two grown children and four grandchildren. Determined to prove that this will was made from undue influence by the maid, Mr. Hubbard’s children sue. Once again Jake finds himself in a questionable position as the past comes back to haunt the legacy of the Hubbard family. Sycamore Row is a return to the legal thriller that will feel familiar to his fans and bring a new generation of readers.

Seth Hubbard hangs himself from a sycamore tree on his family property. An employee finds him and immediately calls the police. At his home, a specific suicide note is found that not only expresses that Seth has killed himself of his own free will, but also gives specific instructions for his funeral. Seth was something of a recluse, but everyone knew he was dying of cancer and are not unduly shocked by his death.

Jake Brigance finds an envelope in his mail on the Monday after Seth’s death that includes a will and a letter instructing Jake to make sure the will is enforced no matter what. Jake does as he is told, waiting until just moments after the funeral to file the will in court. The following day, another will is presented, one that benefits Seth’s two grown children rather than the maid who receives the bulk of his estate in the new will. When the family learns of the new will, they immediately hire lawyers and begin to fight.

Jake finds himself embroiled in yet another big, controversial trial. The opposition brings in a large number of lawyers, all from the city and ready to fight, while Jake is just a street lawyer from Clanton. The maid, Lettie Lang, hires a Memphis lawyer who only gets in the way and causes trouble in regard to the jury pool. Lettie’s husband, too, begins to cause trouble. Simeon has always been trouble, drinking too much and sometimes getting violent. However, when he learns his wife is set to inherit more than twenty million dollars, he tries to become a model husband. In the end, however, the draw of the liquor proves to be too much. Simeon is arrested for manslaughter when he causes an accident that kills two popular high school kids.

As Jake prepares for trial, his old boss Lucien tries to find a reason why Seth Hubbard would leave his fortune to Lettie, a woman he had only known for three years. In this investigation, Lucien discovers that Lettie is part of a family, the Rinds, who disappeared from Ford County shortly after Seth’s father came to own eighty acres that belonged to Sylvester Rinds. Finding Seth’s younger brother, Ancil, finally answers a great number of questions that have been unanswered for many years.

At trial, Jake is convinced that he is losing when Lettie is caught lying on the stand about a will a previous employer had written that left her fifty thousand dollars. The other side also proves that Seth had an eye for young, black women and might have had an affair with Lettie. However, when Lucien delivers a videotape deposition from Ancil that claims he and Seth watched their father murder Sylvester Rinds in order to steal his land from Rinds’ widow, Jake wins the case.

Appeals would have dragged out the case for many years to come, but the judge hammers out a settlement that leaves all sides with a little something. At the same time, Ancil Hubbard is finally able to put the past in the past and move on with his life after running from it for fifty years.

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This section contains 688 words
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