Friday, August 28, 2015

GO SET A WATCHMAN

From Harper Lee comes a landmark new novel set two decades after her beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Maycomb, Alabama. Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch - 'Scout' - returns home from New York City to visit her aging father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise's homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town and the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt. Featuring many of the iconic characters from To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman perfectly captures a young woman, and a world, in a painful yet necessary transition out of the illusions of the past - a journey that can be guided only by one's conscience. 

Written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman imparts a fuller, richer understanding and appreciation of Harper Lee. Here is an unforgettable novel of wisdom, humanity, passion, humor and effortless precision - a profoundly affecting work of art that is both wonderfully evocative of another era and relevant to our own times. It not only confirms the enduring brilliance of To Kill a Mockingbird, but also serves as its essential companion, adding depth, context and new meaning to an American classic.

Release Date: July 14, 2015
HarperCollins Publishing
Purchased personally

To Kill a Mockingbird is my favorite book ever written. I've read it almost every year of my life since I was 12 years old. I've always wanted another story from Harper Lee and when I saw we were getting one with Go Set a Watchman, I pre-ordered it the day it was available.

I won't say Go Set a Watchman is as good as To Kill a Mockingbird, but that is because I set To Kill a Mockingbird on a pedestal that no book will ever reach. Hello, favorite book ever read. However, I felt like Go Set a Watchman was not only a good book, but also a very relevant book not only for the mid 1950's but for today. 

As in To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman is from Scout's point of view. Although she no longer goes by Scout, but by her given name Jean Louise and is home from New York City for a visit. Much as I've set To Kill a Mockingbird on a pedestal, Jean Louise has always set her father Atticus on a pedestal. He has always been almost God-like to her and if anything, Go Set a Watchman was a coming of age book where Jean Louise finally sees her father as a man rather than as a God who can do no wrong. 

There has been much talk that Atticus is a racist or a bigot in Go Set a Watchman and while I personally didn't read the scenes that way, I could understand others interpreting it in that way. Scout even comes to believe her father is now a racist and a bigot and everything she believed as a child was all a lie. I think the blinders coming off for Scout and her finally seeing her father as a man, made me love her even more.

I won't say I loved Go Set a Watchman, but I will say I thought it is well worth reading. If it was in fact a first draft of To Kill a Mockingbird, I say thank you to the publisher for publishing To Kill a Mockingbird first. I don't think any of the characters in Go Set a Watchman would be as well loved if we hadn't met them in To Kill a Mockingbird first. Go Set a Watchman was a good sequel for To Kill a Mockingbird since it let us find out what happened to all the beloved characters.



2 comments:

Jen Twimom said...

Thoughtful review. Thanks for sharing!

Liza Brown said...

Thanks. I'm glad I read it.