Upsetting Changes

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee.

Go Set a Watchman

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.

Happy reading.

x

Facebook – Book Nomination

I was recently nominated by a friend on Facebook to select the 10 Books that have ‘stayed with me’ – So I thought it would be nice to share them here too (you will notice some repeats from my previous posts and lists) but here it goes, in no particular order.

1) The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling – I know it’s not a singular book, but the whole series captivated my imagination and gave me an incredibly immersive reading experience. I felt that Hogwarts was my home and I will always love Jo for giving me, and many others like me, a truly amazing book series with some of the best characters created.

2) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – This is a book I read at High School and I remember falling in love with it straight away. It was easy to imagine the surroundings, the characters and the tensions. It’s probably one of the first books I read that made me feel heartbroken at the injustices and ignorance of society.

3) Matilda by Roald Dahl – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, minus the horrible parents and scary Miss Trunchbull, I felt that Matilda was a reflection of myself when I was younger. I found more contentment and happiness in books and powered through as many novels as I could get my hands on. It warms the heart.

4) Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield – The copy I own is literally falling apart, I’ve had to cello tape the spine together and have to be very careful with the pages, as some of them are loose. I adore this book, about three very different girls, who become sisters at an early age because of various tragedies. But each one with a different life ambition to the other. This book taught me that it’s ok to be different from other girls and that no matter where you come from, you are capable of achieving great things.

5) The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath – A book, I sadly, only read this year and one I regrettably wish I would had read a lot sooner. It takes an unflinching look at living day-to-day life with depression, and the painful journey to recover some normality and become you again. Quite heart-breaking but incredibly poignant and well written.

6) 4.48 Psychosis by Sarah Kane – Technically this a play, but again it deals with loss and depression and was written after Sarah Kane’s partner passed away. It’s quite a harrowing read as Kane reflects on her incredibly personal experiences of dealing with grief. It’s quite fragmented as a read, but it provides an insight into subject matters that are usually pussyfooted around. A fine piece of writing and theatre.

7) Dracula by Bram Stoker – Incredibly atmospheric, well written and one of the first vampire novels I read. This is an absolute classic and is partly responsible in my life long fascination with vampires, much better than Twilight and the book to film adaptation by Francis Ford Coppola is an absolute feast for Gothic Horror fans everywhere.

8) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – It is a truth universally acknowledged, that I adore this book. It was the first book by Austen that my dad gave to me. And I became absorbed in the time period, I thought, and still do think, that Elizabeth Bennet is one of the strongest female literary characters ever written. So intelligent, headstrong and outspoken. A classic book, which I will never tire of re-visiting time and time again.

9) A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – Not only have I always loved Christmas more than anything, but also this book has so many morals and lessons to teach. A book that can save the soul and give a whole new perspective to just how beautiful and lovely life can be, if only you step back and stop being so self involved.

10) King Lear by William Shakespeare – This tragedy is probably one of Shakespeare’s finest pieces of work and yet doesn’t seem to be as favoured as other work. Truly heart-breaking but incredibly well written and filled with plenty of drama. If the ending doesn’t have you sobbing, I don’t know what will (Psst! I’m referring to the bit where Lear carries in Cordelia) Feel free to share your Top 10 in the comments section below.

Happy reading fellow bookworms!

x