Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee


I finished this book a little while back but wanted to give myself time to create a review because I wanted to include exactly what I thought of the book.
When reading reviews for this much-hyped book, I saw many that said it wasn't worth publishing or ruined the story; I however disagree.
I loved it.
I was a massive fan of To Kill A Mockingbird but completely distanced the two books, they are so different, something which I deem to be essential when producing a sequel to a classic. It delves deeper into the lives of the family, telling anecdotal stories of their childhood (as it is written when Jean Louise (scout) is in her early 20's as is visiting Atticus from New York) and expanding more on the life we learn about in TKAM. I adore this; if I fall in love with a character (which I did with all the finches) I want to learn more about them, I want to experience their lives and could be told countless countless stories of their everyday.
Little actually happened in the book which some people slated it for but I feel it contributes to the character development and just makes a gentle but thought provoking read- imo-not much has to happen.

Ahh I am rambling already-to my concise points we go:
 There is a favourite section of mine in the book where we meet 11 year old Scout who has just been kissed for the first time and thinks she therefore must be pregnant. The fear this causes her in heart warming, you feel so much love for the young girl who really has no idea

Jean Louise did also portray an immaturity that I found rather annoying but I believe was intentional of Harper Lee to show how isolated her childhood had been and how (an important point that is brought up in the book) she valued Atticus as a Godly being and therefore had not made any of her own evaluations on life, hence her immaturity. Lee did present this immaturity very successfully however, showing Scout as misreading situations and not evaluating everything that either a person or a situation show. It made me change my opinion on Scout a little as I began to find her a bit annoying-I did not mind this though as I thought the portrayal of her character was very accurate.

It did lack the character naivety of TKAM that I believe made it such a sensation however this for me did not matter as I read it as a completely different story so it did not affect it for me.

Somewhat controversially, I still like Atticus despite the things we learn; it presents a human side that we do not see in TKAM and I still love his arguments and reasoning although I do not fully agree with what he was doing.

I adore Harpee Lee's way of writing; its humorous and wise, with brilliant character development that just makes them so real- she cross references so many things that, if understood (admitedly I didnt always understand them), really add to it.
Maybe I have missed things out in this review but it is already over 600 words long and, I am slightly wary that I am treading on thin ice, composing a review on such a large book that goes against most other reviews I have read.

I would have thoroughly enjoyed this book whether it had been a sequel to a best selling novel or not and, to address the 'waste of time' title this book upholds, she never intended on it being published and, an attempt to create a sequel to perhaps the best known novel of the 20th century will 9/10 times be considered a 'flop', so, read it and forget about TKAM and everything Harpee Lee stands for, and it becomes a wonderfully gentle novel that covers some serious issues (in my opinion).

Katie x 
*TKAM=To Kill A Mockingbird (obvs)

8 comments

  1. I loved TKAM, but to be fair who doesn'!? I completely forgot about this book but think I might give it a try but at the same time I like the way TKAM ended so I don't feel like I need to read this book because I'm completely content with the story but I'll probably read this anyway just because the first one was so fab :)x
    libbyjade26.blogspot.co.uk

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  2. I would say you can read it and it won't ruin the end of TKAM because it's such a different story; but I do know what you mean-especially with the change to some of the characters (especially Atticus!)x

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  3. I am with you on this, i really enjoyed reading the book. As you say not a lot happened but I enjoyed the new stories about their childhood and seeing Scout as an adult. She was exactly what I expected!

    Bethan Likes

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    1. Ah I'm glad someone agreed! Definitely, I loved learning more about them x

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  4. I've actually not read any of the 2 books! I'm going to give them a go though - Should i read TKAM first?
    Aleeha from HALE, xXx
    www.halesaaw.com

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    1. You definitely should-yeah I would say so, simply because you meet the characters and understand the story but I would say TKAM is a lot heavier than GSAWM so, if that isnt your kind of thing-don't be put off!x

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  5. I haven't read 'To Kill A Mockingbird' yet but it is a book that I really want to read! This post has given me a push in the right direction haha :)
    Peace xo
    www.waitwhatok.blogspot.com

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Katie