Jessica's books

The One and Only Ivan
Revolutionary War on Wednesday
Leprechaun in Late Winter
Ella Enchanted
The Courage of Sarah Noble
Plain Murder
Gone-Away Lake
Circling the Sun
Maggie and Max
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
The Night Sister
Tuck Everlasting
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Bedknob and Broomstick
Mister Monday
Alice Through the Looking Glass
The Birchbark House
The Hobbit
The Witch's Daughter

Jessica's favorite books »

Monday, March 14, 2016

Book Review: Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
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.

My Thoughts:

First, let me say that I did not know there was any controversy around this book when I bought it.  I loved To Kill a Mockingbird and was so excited to read more about Scout and Atticus.  This book did not grab my attention like TKAM did or keep me interested but I thought it was still a good read.

Scout is now in her twenties and has moved away to New York.  She comes back to visit Atticus, who is now living with Alexandra, Scout's aunt.    While at home, Scout is forced to see Atticus in a new light as well as her longtime friend, Henry.  You see, Scout thinks that Atticus has changed since TKAM and it was shocking to her.  She feels as if she no longer knows who Atticus is or ever was. 

 I personally did not feel that Atticus changed his opinions much.  I felt like Scout was naive as a child and put Atticus on a pedestal.  She saw no wrong in her father.  Atticus is a product of the time and place he grew up in.  He didn't believe the south was ready for total equality.  Is it right that he thought that way?  No.  But that is how he had grown up and that is how everyone around him thought and he just simply didn't know to think anything else.  

I think Scout had to understand that Atticus was just a human.  He thought bad things sometimes.  He did bad things sometimes but that majority of the time, he tried to do what was right.  I think she saw him as perfect and when her image was shattered, she didn't know what to do.   

This book took me much longer to read than TKAM because it didn't capture my interest like TKAM.   It wasn't what I was expecting it to be but I was glad to see Atticus taken down a notch and made human.  


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