John Grisham’s ‘The Guardians’ Reminds Us to Appreciate the Freedom We Sometimes Take For Granted [REVIEW]

Hands on fence

An innocent man is in prison in John Grisham’s latest, The Guardian. (Photo by Canva)

A lawyer who becomes a victim. A client who becomes a suspect. A plea for help that can either save an innocent man or raise the body count. Find out which way the tide will turn in John Grisham’s latest number-one bestseller, The Guardians.

John Grisham's THE GUARDIANS


Keith Russo used to be a lawyer in the tiny town of Seabrook, Florida. At least he was until someone shot him at his desk one night and left him for dead without leaving behind a single clue. But soon the cops arrest Quincy Miller—a young black man and former client of Keith’s—and before he knows what is happening to him he’s sentenced to life in prison.

Since then 22 years have passed, and Quincy still maintains his innocence, although no one is helping him prove it. Finally, he writes to Guardian Ministries, a small nonprofit run by Cullen Post, a lawyer who also happens to be an Episcopal minister.

Cullen travels the country fighting for clients who were wrongfully convicted, only to fall through the cracks of the system. But with Quincy, Cullen gets more than he bargains for because some very bad people killed Keith Russo. They don’t want Quincy to get off the hook and they’re more than happy to take out anyone who thinks he should.

The Guardians is a novel about the resilience of the human spirit. As I read this novel, I couldn’t help but wonder how I would fare if I was in Quincy’s shoes, facing a life sentence in prison for a crime I didn’t commit. Quincy is so quiet and mild mannered, his spirit shines through on each page he’s on here. Readers won’t be able to resist cheering him on in his pursuit of justice, just like I did.

In fact, Quincy taught me a lot about the intricacies of patience. For example, we learn that it takes time for the truth to rise to the top and for us to find acceptance when it does. Also, if we can maintain an optimistic attitude that bolsters our spirit from within, we can prevail no matter how long we have to wait for the truth to be revealed.

Will Quincy be freed? You’ll have to read the book to find out. But his tale teaches us not to take our freedom for granted, and why we should appreciate things like the breeze on our face, the scent of fresh air, and the simple act of moving about unhindered through life. Yes, there is much for us to appreciate on a daily basis that we simply fail to recognize.

And that’s why I loved this book. Although The Guardians is a smartly written account of how the justice system sometimes tries and sentences the wrongly accused, it is also a tale about hope and redemption and a vivid reminder of why each of us does well to ponder these precious freedoms which all too frequently go overlooked. Enjoy!

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John Grisham

John Grisham
(Photo by Charlotte Graham)


John Grisham is the author of 33 novels, one work of nonfiction, a collection of stories, and six novels for young readers. His first novel, A Time to Kill, was initially published in 1988. But it was his second novel, The Firm, which made him a household name when it spent 47 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and became the bestselling novel of 1991.

His next two novels, The Pelican Brief and The Client, both reached number one on the bestseller lists and secured his status as one of America’s favorite storytellers. To date, there are currently more than 300 million of Grisham’s books in print worldwide, which have been translated into 40 languages. Nine of his novels have been turned into feature films.

When not writing, Grisham devotes time to charitable causes, including most recently his Rebuild the Coast Fund, which raised $8.8 million for Gulf Coast relief in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. He has also built six baseball fields on his property which have hosted over 350 kids on 26 Little League teams and he serves as the local Little League commissioner.

To find out more about the author, visit him at, like him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

By John Grisham
384 pp. Doubleday. $29.95

Purchase The Guardians at one of these fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Half Price Books, IndieBound, and Powell’s.

About Heather Fink
Heather Fink is a writer, bibliophile and award-winning librarian who loves to introduce the next generation of readers to the wonderful world of books. She currently resides in Texas.

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