To Kill a Mockingbird is set in Alabama in the early 1930's during the Great Depression. The novel is a coming-of-age story as well as a historically accurate portrayal of a small Alabama community less than 100 years after the ending of slavery. The main character, Scout, narrates the story of herself, her brother, and a friend, Dill, who spend a great deal of their summer free time trying to lure a mysterious neighbor from his home. One summer, Scout's father must defend a black man falsely accused of assault by a white woman. The tragedy of this situation becomes even more poignant told through the eyes of a little girl. The "mockingbird" of the title becomes a metaphor for those in society who do no harm to others, but to try to summarize Harper Lee's masterpiece is almost impossible as the life lessons are so masterfully interwoven into the tapestry of the life of this small Southern town.