I pre-ordered Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee months before it’s release and it’s been sitting on my shelf since its release on July 14, 2015. This will tell you how far behind I am on my everyday reading list as compared to my Beatles blog list!
I had a hard time trying to go into reading this book with an open mind when there was so much talk about it on the internet immediately after it hit the shelves. Reviewers had no beef about putting their opinions in their headlines when the posted their reviews. But after reading it for myself, I see this book differently.
So many wanted to blast this book. The general opinion seemed to be – Why would Harper Lee make Atticus Finch, everyone’s hero from To Kill a Mockingbird, into a racist in her follow up novel?! So many people seemed disappointed that Ms. Lee didn’t put out another Pulitzer Prize worthy novel with an obvious hero stepping out of the shadows and teaching scores of people how to be human. Ah…but she did…
I was happy to read the vision that Harper Lee had for her characters from To Kill A Mockingbird. This was her story to write as she saw it. And though it wasn’t at all what any of really expected (wanted), I was entertained by just by the fact that I got to finally find out what became of Atticus, Scout, Jem and Dill. I’m thrilled that Lee, after many years of refusing to publish this work, finally gave her permission to let us step back into Maycomb, Alabama, with Go Set A Watchman.
There is still a lesson to be learned in Go Set A Watchman, but I think it’s a much harder pill to swallow than the simpler lesson Harper Lee taught us in To Kill A Mockingbird. Bravo to her for pointing out the error of our ways!