Finding someone who understands can be a lifelong struggle, no matter you are. Imagine being a precocious, intelligent boy with a flair for fashion and drama and two unreliable parents who drop you with cousins in Monroeville, Alabama during the Great Depression. Living in the neighborhood is a girl who has short hair “like a boy”, wears overalls, admires Sherlock Holmes, and is tough as nails. She’s also bound to be an outsider, but together you could be a formidable team.
Truman Capote and Nelle Harper Lee, the future authors, spent part of their childhoods together in Monroeville, and this partially imagined set of connected stories about their time as friends is what you’d expect – funny, sometimes witty or snarky, full of bumps up against authority and what society expects.
Much of what happens will already be familiar if you’ve read To Kill a Mockingbird, but it’s a fun read even so, and an interesting way to start a conversation about people who stand out as Nelle and Truman did. In this version of their lives, both struggled with figuring out who they wanted to be and how they wanted to be seen, even if they seemed confident in who they were at first glance. Together, their friendship gave them a safe place to figure that out while pushing the boundaries of small town life.
Tru and Nelle by G. Neri