Book Review: Go Set a Watchman

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It’s been about a decade and a half since I read TKAM, so that really plays in little to none in reading this novel for me. I enjoyed it in that I personally really identify with Jean Louise aka Scout in this story. She comes back home as a young woman and can see more easily see the faults in the people and places she loves. These faults are glaring in her eyes and cause gut level reactions. I’ve recently been through a similar awakening as I moved back to my home town after nearly a decade away. And quite frankly, there have been moments that the people and their thoughts make we want to vomit and make me ashamed that I am the prodigy of such people and thought processes. But as Jean Louise has to decide, I too had to decide– do I run away or become a reverse missionary to my own people. I can see why a lot of loyal TKAM fans hated this book, as it tears down many assumptions I had about the characters in TKAM. But that mirrors what goes on with Jean Louise in this novel. Which, in it’s own way, is beautiful writing. However, it was difficult to read at points, because of it’s referencing obscure classic literature (I’m assuming), which I haven’t read personally. I like to think I’ve read fairly widely in the classics, but not wide enough to catch everything in those sections of this novel. That was slightly frustrating and annoying. Overall, this novel was very timely for myself, but it’s not something I plan to read again.

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