I just finished reading Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee and I figured I could talk a bit about it.
Disclaimer: this post contains spoilers.
This books tells the story of Jean Louise going back home to Maycomb for a few weeks. In To Kill A Mockingbird she was a child/teen, while on this one she was 26 years old. The book follows Jean Louise as she sees how the city changed in her absence and as she goes through a lot of important and not so important things (trying not to spoil too much). As in its former book, this one deals with racism, being this the main issue of the book, which Jean Louise fights hard against. One day she is faced with the fact that Henry, the man she wanted to marry, and her father, the man she always looked up to, might not share the same ideals as her when it comes to racism. Suddenly it’s like her world is crumbling down and the narrative follows her mental battle until she finally explodes and argues with Henry and then with Atticus, her father. After that her uncle Jack has an important role in showing her that she might have exaggerated and they have a long conversation about it. The book ends pretty soon after that but I’ll leave that out, because there’s only so much I can spoil.
One of my favourite episodes is probably that talk she has with her uncle almost in the end. He asks her if she ever considered coming back home and shows her that there might be a place for her in Maycomb after all. Along the way, uncle Jack admits he was and still is in love with Jean Louise’s mother and her reply is “All that time, you-” and I couldn’t help but look back in my memories, remembering being seated in the same place but reading a completely different book where Dumbledore was asking Snape “After all this time?” and it brought a smile to my face.
Anyway, to be honest, I have mixed feelings about Go Set A Watchman and I even considered not writing about the book because of that. Because even though I did enjoy reading it and watching what happened with Jean Louise, I feel as if it leaves a lot of blank spaces about what happened after the first book (even if Jean Louise remembers some episodes of her past throughout this one). I mean, Jem is dead, Dill is off to somewhere in Europe and there’s now a ice cream place where their first house used to be and I just feel as if it’s too much of a big jump between the two books, you know? I just wish I knew more about happened between the two books…
Either way, I’d still recommend it to other people.
Until next time,