Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I have missed Scout. Despite being 26 now and living on her own in New York, Jean Louise Finch is still the same Scout. Maycomb County however is changing. And Scout, well she comes home to learn some hard facts of life.
Set in 1950s, Harper Lee had supposedly written this book before her famous “To Kill A Mockingbird,” which was set in the 1930s. In this book an adult Jean Louise Finch is living in New York, takes the train back home to Maycomb and spends time learning who her father is and who she herself is.
Jean Louise discovers a side of her father, Atticus, that she simply cannot grasp. She believes that Atticus, the man who we all loved when he defended an innocent black man and won, is actually a racist. She learns that sometimes life is not always – pardon the pun – black and white. She also learned that her father was human too, a tough lesson at any age for a child to learn.
There is no courtroom drama to pull together around in this novel. However, the timing of this novel’s release is spot on. This novel, which looks at racial differences and the birth of the NAACP and its affect on a controlling white community, is released amid heated nationwide discussions of our nation’s historical symbols like the Confederate flag and as racial tensions continue to swell.
The book itself reads differently that To Kill A Mockingbird, which Scout narrated. This book is written in more of a third person narrative. Some of the passages are very similar to the other.
Did I like the novel? I do not know. I think it has to sit with me for awhile. I am glad to know what happened to those charters we fell in love with in To Kill A Mockingbird. However, I was surprised at how political the book actually is.
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