Books · Words

Book Talk: Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

With the recent passing of great American novelist Harper Lee, I thought it appropriate to share my thoughts on her most recently published work: Go Set a Watchman.  Harper Lee was massively influential to me, as a young reader (To Kill a Mockingbird rocked my socks in ninth grade) and I am forever grateful for her storytelling.

That said…If you are expecting a sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird– well, don’t be.

This book is said to have been Harper Lee’s original debut novel, which she wound up re-working- setting the clock back a couple decades to provide a glimpse of the characters’ former selves- to produce the book which would become a beloved American Classic: To Kill a Mockingbird.  So while this is very much set in Maycomb, and while all your favorite characters are accounted for, this is no sequel.  I still believe Go Set a Watchman is worth reading, but I also think it’s important to consider these things when doing so.  If you want to read more about the publication of this book, I encourage you to read  this NY Times article  by 

Now as far as my enjoyment of the book goes, I actually found myself pleasantly surprised. The language did cause a bit of wincing on my part, but for the most part the book was engaging and entertaining. I think that in order to enjoy this book you must take it for what it is: a piece of race literature written in the 1950’s and set in the antebellum south.  Yes, I was appalled by the Klan meeting, but that is exactly what I expect from a book set in this period and place.

I’m happy that I read this book, as I was delighted to be reunited with Jean Louise Finch, who is perhaps my favorite young protagonist of all time (she’s certainly up there in the ever-growing list of favorite female characters).  I recommend everyone read this book as it will be a literary conversation piece for years to come.

Book Details:

Genre: Fiction→Adult→Historical Literature

Published: July 14th 2015 by HarperCollins

Page Count: 278

Find this book:   Amazon   Barnes&Noble   Goodreads


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