Publisher: William Heinemann London
Published: July 2015
Pages: 278 Pages
Maycomb, Alabama, Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch – ‘Scout’ – returns home from New York City to visit her ageing 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 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 painful yet necessary transition out of the illusions of the past – a journey that can be guided only by one’s own conscience.
I’m sure you have all heard about Go set a Watchman, but the question is will you read it? I’ve seen many comments saying that people won’t read it because it’ll ruin To Kill a Mockingbird – well, how will you know until you try it? that’s what I say anyway! Others have read it and have expressed lots of negative feedback which may put other non-readers off. I’ve read every page and if I’m totally honest with you all I loved it, an awful lot. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my all time favourites and nothing will ever compare to this, but Harper Lee still does a fantastic job with Go set a Watchman and I recommend you reading it even just to say you have.
The same characters from TKAM make an appearance and you learn more about their lives – they’re all grown up now. GSAW is post To Kill a Mockingbird which was a nice touch, but it rarely (if any) referred to previous events more just times from their childhoods.
To me, Sccout cane across as the focal character and I felt that it was a coming of age story. It was weird that I had to call Scout by her proper name, Jean Louise, I’m so used to her younger days and nickname. Then again, I suppose she has grown up and is now a fine young lady!
Harper Lee wrote the novel before TKAM was published yet I definitely think publishers made the right decision not releasing it until now. Although GSAW was great it was nowhere near as exciting – the same elements are there – racism, segregation, etc, but nothing to shout out..