Hi everyone. I’m Maria and this is Promotekdbook.com.
Today I’m going to be doing a review, or trying my best to do a review, of Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee.
This book takes place approximately 20 years after To Kill a Mockingbird.
Scout is returning home.
She is living in New York City and she’s coming back to Mobile, Alabama to visit her family as she does.
Every year she seems to return for about two weeks and spend time with her friends and family back home before returning back to New York City.
This time, however, she returns and her eyes seem to be open to the way that things are changing in her town and also things are not changing in her town.
She’s learning a lot about her family and their beliefs and it doesn’t really line up with what she knew previously.
And so her world is basically changing, her view of everything is changing, and this book just deals with that conflict.
I tried my best not to be overly spoiled or to get too many opinions in my head before I went into this book.
Although I did pick up a handful of things about the book before reading it, which I won’t really talk about here.
But I will say that I had a certain perspective going in and just based on the general vibe I was getting from people, I went in with pretty low expectations.
I mean, this was meant to be the first draft.
It hasn’t been overly edited and it’s definitely clear in that sense.
There are definitely some parts that could be tightened or changed if this was properly edited.
But that being said, this book very much still has Harper Lee’s voice.
There are so many passages in here that feel so familiar if you’re someone who has read To Kill a Mockingbird, particularly if you’ve read it pretty recently and you have her style in your head.
It has Harper Lee’s wit and her strong, biting language.
If you’ve read To Kill a Mockingbird you kind of know what vibe I’m talking about and that is definitely still present in here.
It’s also pretty interesting to see the parts of this book that you can see directly influenced or were put into To Kill a Mockingbird.
Now is this a book I’m going to be recommending that everyone go out and read the way I would To Kill a Mockingbird?
But I do think that this is a good/interesting companion to have to To Kill a Mockingbird.
If you follow me on Goodreads or on like Twitter, you may have seen that I put up like sort of an initial review where I just said “Your fave is problematic.”
I said that like half jokingly obviously, but also mostly seriously because that is a thought that I had in my head when I was reading this book.
If you’re someone who holds To Kill a Mockingbird on a pedestal and holds those characters on a pedestal and you don’t want to see any new or different or problematic layers added to those characters then it might be good to just ignore this book.
I think it’s important for your thoughts and your beliefs to be challenged sometimes and I think this book challenges what we think of when it comes to Atticus and Scout and Jem and all these other characters who we’ve come to know and love and, in some cases, treat as these perfect characters.
Just like you learn in the real world, no one’s perfect and everyone has problems and everyone is flawed.
In this book, Scout’s in her 20s and I think that this exploration that Scout goes through is an exploration that a lot of people who maybe grow up in a small town or grow up in a very bubbled community, if they go away to college and then return home I feel like this is an experience that a lot of people go through.
They return to their home and they realize that not everything’s as perfect as you thought it would be, the things that you loved when you were a kid aren’t necessarily things that you can love and enjoy anymore.
And even the people that you love, you can still love them, but there might be different viewpoints, different perspectives that you’re seeing now that make them not quite as perfect as you thought that they were.
There are parts of this book that were really difficult for me to get through, not because the writing was bad or difficult but because the things that were being expressed were so problematic, but also so of its time and also so of this time that it made me want to throw this book up against a wall in the best possible way.
The way that some of the characters in here talk about race and segregation and progress and change and Southern living and small town living all felt so 1950s but also, with current events, felt so now.
Sort of observing this as something that was written in the 50s and hasn’t been touched since and to see what has and hasn’t changed in the minds of some people is a really interesting experiment.
I think this book forces the reader, or at least it forced me, to reconcile this idea of someone having really problematic thoughts and issues and beliefs and still understanding them to a certain extent.
That’s a struggle at least that Scout goes through.
I don’t know if that’s the right way to approach this book.
I don’t know if that’s the right way to approach those situations, but I think everyone has someone in their life that they don’t necessarily agree with but they love them anyways.
So yeah, in the end I gave this book a 3 out of 5 stars. It’s hard to give this book more than that, in my opinion, just because it’s not like the best book ever written, but I think it brings up a lot of really interesting ideas and I think it’s a really interesting companion.
I think that this is actually a more interesting layer to add to the characters that are in To Kill a Mockingbird.
Because in To Kill a Mockingbird the Finch’s are basically like perfect people and in this book you realize that they’re not.
And I feel like in To Kill a Mockingbird racism and prejudices and biases are so overtly clear and in this one they’re more like systemic and subtle and that’s more realistic to the way the world actually is.
Even though this book was so frustrating to read at times because of some of the things that these characters were saying, I really liked it that it actually said those things so clearly because it really forces you to confront these problematic thoughts that people legitimately have.
So yeah, those are my just quick thoughts on Go Set a Watchman. This is one of those books that I feel like I’m going to be thinking about and wrestling with for quite some time.
I kind of want to re-read To Kill a Mockingbird and potentially re-read this at the same time because I think it’s just so interesting and such a new and complicated and realistic layer to those characters that I think I actually really liked.
I know that not everyone is going to feel this way.
There are going to be people who are really upset that their characters were ruined.
But I do like that Scout had to wrestle with these difficult issues and I do like that Atticus was taken off his pedestal and I do like that the depiction of the South was more realistic and these characters were more realistic.
So yeah, let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.
I know a bunch of you guys are reading this book right now just like I was.
So let me know what you guys thought.
Yeah, there’s going to be a lot of opinions on this book and I’d love to hear yours.
So yeah, that’s all I have for now and thanks for reading.
==========================================================Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00T3DNKIE