Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee

go set a watchman

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One Response to “Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee”

  1. bachbooks Says:

    In Go Set a Watchman, Jean Louise (Scout) Finch returns to Maycomb, Alabama to visit Atticus, Aunt Alexandra, Uncle Jack, and Henry. After living on her own in New York City, Maycomb seems little changed when she arrives, but the longer she stays, the more she realizes that either her hometown has changed dramatically or she has. For the first time in her adult life, Jean Louise argues with her aging father and realizes she may have grown apart from the man she idolized as a child and the hometown she fondly recalls.

    As a huge fan of To Kill a Mockingbird, I read this book with a fair bit of trepidation. Friends gave the book mixed reviews, and Go Set a Watchman lived up to this billing. I enjoyed revisiting the setting and characters featured in To Kill a Mockingbird, and the adult Jean Louise seems a true extension of the feisty child we knew as Scout. The various flashbacks provided tantalizing glimpses into her life after To Kill a Mockingbird, but her present visit to Maycomb illustrates that “You can’t go home again.” Jean Louise has grown up enough to realize she has outgrown even the biggest fish in the little pond of Maycomb. At times the book detoured into Uncle Jack’s political ramblings about the perceived overreach of the paternalistic federal government and the import of individual liberties. Harper Lee’s power comes from her narrative strength, but she flounders when she tries to expound upon the Southern resistance to the Civil Rights movement. Shadowing Scout, it felt nice to revisit Maycomb for a bit, but I don’t plan to return to Go Set a Watchman any time soon.

    Rating: 3 stars

    Recommendations: To Kill a Mockingbird, My Sunshine Away

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