Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee.
I was really apprehensive to read this, To Kill a Mockingbird always makes it on to my ‘Top 5’ list. I’d heard and read mixed reviews and already had an idea what the basic premise of the storyline was.
Jean Louise Finch, or Scout to those who want to be more familiar, goes back to Maycomb on one of her routine trips to visit her father. She’s now living in New York so doesn’t make the journey often. Adult Scout is just as sassy and determined as her younger self, and it isn’t long until she’s winding up her Aunt Alexandra. I think one of my biggest shocks and upsets was when I realised that Jem had died from a heart attack a couple of years prior to the book taking place, this knocked the wind out of me instantly. One of the best things about To Kill a Mockingbird is the relationship between brother and sister and I would have liked to have seen how this played out a bit more.
When Jean helps her Aunt tidy around one day she comes across a pamphlet of her fathers that looks like white supremacist propaganda, sickened she goes to the meeting her father and her on/off beau Hank are at and is disgusted and shocked by what she sees. As a reader I was incredibly upset to hear about Atticus’ new perspectives on things and I think that’s how the novel works, in essence Scout perfectly articulates and displays our emotions at this news.
The rest of the novel is Scout trying to find a reason or an answer to what has made her father change from the man she knew as a child, with little success at first. It ends with an epic confrontation and then kind of fizzles out in a slightly disappointing way. It’s no Mockingbird, but that’s ok, as I don’t think it was intended to be.
Star Rating out of 5: 3
‘The one human being she had ever fully and wholeheartedly trusted had failed her; the only man she had ever known to whom she could point and say with expert knowledge, “He is a gentleman, in his heart he is a gentleman,” had betrayed her, publicly, grossly, and shamelessly.’
If you’ve read it I’d love to know what you thought, so please comment below.