Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
Published by HarperCollins on July 14th 2015
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From Harper Lee comes a landmark new novel set two decades after her beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece, To Kill a Mockingbird.
Maycomb, Alabama. Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch--"Scout"--returns home from New York City to visit her aging father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise's homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town and the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt. Featuring many of the iconic characters from To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman perfectly captures a young woman, and a world, in a painful yet necessary transition out of the illusions of the past--a journey that can be guided only by one's conscience.
Written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman imparts a fuller, richer understanding and appreciation of Harper Lee. Here is an unforgettable novel of wisdom, humanity, passion, humor and effortless precision--a profoundly affecting work of art that is both wonderfully evocative of another era and relevant to our own times. It not only confirms the enduring brilliance of To Kill a Mockingbird, but also serves as its essential companion, adding depth, context and new meaning to an American classic.
I really wanted to like this book. I mean the author wrote a classic and all of her works should be good right? I know some say it is good, but for me it lacked depth. I felt that there was no meat to the story. Like there was very little action and character development. I can see why it wasn’t published before and it is a crude reminder to tell my friend to burn all my writing when I die. Some of what I write is complete shit and I never want them to see the light of day.
As for the racism thing. I can see both sides. I am from the south. I was born and raised in Central Appalachia. I like to think of myself as liberated from my views that I grew up with but deep down inside it is still there. This was evident I couldn’t understand why Scout made such a big deal out of her father and boyfriend..(THAT DUDE WAS HER BOYFRIEND RIGHT?!?) went to that meeting. I mean I was completely on her father side. You go to see what people are up to. I completely failed to understand why going and sitting in a meeting sparked such anguish in Scout.
Then I thought about it and after a week, I began to finally GET it. If you sit in a meeting and do nothing then you are in a way supporting it and that makes you involved in it. I was glad that I could see that point. But deep inside me I am still like, but it is no big deal.
Maybe that is why I did not enjoy this book. Maybe I felt as if this book was airing the souths’ dirty laundry so to speak. It is always hard when you are confronted with your deepest beliefs and find out that you are maybe a secret racist. This made me wonder if we can ever become unchained by where we grew up. Or are we forever chained by the beliefs that we were taught in our formative years? This would make a good discussion. I have no answers and I doubt anyone does. I can tell you that the south has not changed much. When that rebel flag conserver sty happened most of my white southern friends were like It is a SYMBOL of southern pride. And that is how I saw it also. Then again I am an upper-middle-class white woman so I have quite a few privileges. It is hard for me to unpack them. In my head, I can see it booth ways. In my heart, I subscribe to the southern belive. My friends from all over say that I am southern to my core and I think this book proves it.
I want to give this book 5 stars but deep in my heart I am like eh. Then again this book exposed some things that I really did not want to confront. Plus I think the author needs a better editor so three stars it is.