A Lesson Before Dying - Ernest J. Gaines This a solemn but moving book about two men, both of them trapped not only in their environment but in the way society treats them as less than men. Jefferson, a young man who is convicted and sentenced to death for a murder he did not commit, is seen by the white society of the 40s as less than human, a "hog", while Grant Wiggins is a school teacher who feels trapped at the plantation school where he teaches and perceives himself as a failure. Both men are brought together reluctantly but mutually learns that they are more than society tells them they are. I found this book to be immensely sad and it is not all that clear where Grant ends up or if his emotional journey delivers him from his own burdens. However the idea that two person caught in their own prejudices and hatred can help, even change, each other is a powerful one.