Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee - REVIEWED

About the Book: (from Harper Collins)
A historic literary event: the publication of a newly discovered novel, the earliest known work from Harper Lee, the beloved, bestselling author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, To Kill a Mockingbird.
Originally written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014.
Go Set a Watchman features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch—Scout—struggles with issues both personal and political, involving Atticus, society, and the small Alabama town that shaped her.
Exploring how the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird are adjusting to the turbulent events transforming mid-1950s America, Go Set a Watchman casts a fascinating new light on Harper Lee's enduring classic. Moving, funny and compelling, it stands as a magnificent novel in its own right.
My Review:
“------something’s wrong with me, it’s something about me.  It has to be because all these people cannot have changed.”  (p. 167)

Jean Louise “Scout” Finch, has returned home only to discover that the same racism that touched her family’s life so intimately when she was a child is touching it again in a very different, even more disorienting way.  Fear has altered everyone’s heart and mind and reoriented what was once familiar into something more disturbing than the fear that drives the change.  To return to Alabama from a life in New York set Jean Louise apart in a significant way at the outset, but within only two days’ of her return home, it is easier for her to believe that she has changed in profound ways.  To consider the alternative scares her even more than the racism that has once again reared its ugly head in her hometown.

Greater still, the emergence of big government has just begun to take root in the hearts of men and women in the South, and folks like Atticus and Jean Louise’s Uncle Jack are smart enough to figure out the root cause of the fear and hatred that is causing racism to thrive in spite of the NAACP’s best efforts.  Uncle Jack says, very accurately and prophetically, “The only thing I’m afraid of about this country is that its government will someday become so monstrous that the smallest person in it will be trampled underfoot, and then it wouldn’t be worth living in.” (p. 198)

This is a story that reaches deep within the human condition.  There is an honesty and transparency between Atticus and Jean Louise that touches me deeply, and her opinions about her Aunt just crack me up!!  And good ole’ Hank.  He get stuck between a rock and a hard place often in this novel. 
If you understand the South, you will “get” this book.  I’m not a fan of the language, and sometimes the thoughts and words regarding “religion” tries my soul, but, if you are from the South you will understand all of it – intimately.  This is a brutally honest book that shines a light of truth into the darkness!

About the Author:

Harper Lee was born in 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama. She is the author of the acclaimed To Kill a Mockingbird, and has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and numerous other literary awards and honors

No comments: