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Tag / Harper Lee

Go Set A Watchman


Go Set a Watchman is set to be one of the most polarising novels in publishing history.

This is the kind of novel that gives you a story to tell of your experience reading it. How you felt reading Harper Lee's first masterpiece compared with how you felt reading the companion which has been 55 years in the making.

My story of reading Go Set a Watchman involved, surprisingly, a lot of laughter, and unsurprisingly, a lot of conflict not only with the racial tension of Southern America, but with Scout and her transformation from tomboy in dungarees to woman of the world on the cusp of diving headlong into a feminine world she so lacks the preparation for. It also involved a great depression upon finishing, my ideas and illusions and were abruptly put to sleep, as Harper Lee reveals her true intentions in writing To Kill a Mockingbird through the text of Go Set a Watchman, which would have been the first novel had her original publishers not fallen under the charms of the inimitable girl child Scout Finch.

Go Set a Watchman is not better than To Kill a Mockingbird, but instead has carved its own important path, and despite being written and intended for release at the height of Southern American racial tensions, it remains a relevant and needed piece of literature which I’m sure will endure just as its counterpart has.

As for the god like status of Mr Atticus Finch, Lee paints him in a light that is not necessarily good, but it isn't or wasn't for the time period, at all uncommon. It's just that Scout has never noticed it before or understood his motives because she always saw her father through the eyes of an adoring child. When his nature is revealed, her world falls apart and she is literally sick to her stomach. And you, the reader, ride that rough torrent with her.

The feeling on completing this book was inexplicable. Possibly a mixture of unbelieving, closure, shock and awe. But mostly, this book is for me, something that our current world so sorely needs.

Cover reveal

Newsflash: The cover for Go Set a Watchman, to be published on July 14 2015 has been revealed!

IMG_2635The cover is similar to To Kill A Mockingbird's with a tree on the cover and a solid colour background.

Go Set A Watchman is set during the mid-1950s and features many of the characters from To Kill A Mockingbird some twenty years later.

Scout (Jean Louise Finch) has returned to Maycomb from New York to visit her father Atticus. She is forced to grapple with issues both personal and political as she tries to understand both her father's attitude toward society, and her own feelings about the place where she was born and spent her childhood.

Described as an instant classic the book was actually written before the publication of Lee's most famous work To Kill A Mockingbird, but was presumed lost.  (We are so glad it was found!)

Image Source: Random House Facebook Feed

A little birdie told us…

Harper Lee has a new novel coming out!

killmockingbirdEntitled 'Go set a Watchman' the novel features many of the same characters that appear in her Pulitzer Prize winning work "To Kill a Mockingbird'.

Presumed lost, the manuscript was written before her classic work, but was put aside in favour of To Kill a Mockingbird after her editor asked her to expand on the flashbacks Scout recounts.  The plot is probably best summed up by the author herself, who was both humbled and amazed that her work is due for publication.

"In the mid-1950's, I completed a novel called Go Set a Watchman. It features the character known as Scout as an adult woman and I thought it a pretty decent effort."

The novel is due for publication on July 14, 2015.

harper lee