Saturday, August 8, 2015

Book Review: Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee/ Fiction/Published in 2015

Hello dear Readers,

Below, my book review of Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee. 

Title: Go Set a Watchman 
Genre: Fiction
Author: Harper Lee
Publisher: Harper, 1 edition 
Publication Date: July 14, 2015
Language: English
Hardcover: 288 pages
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Buy me: Amazon Barnes&Noble Hastings

Book Description

From Harper Lee comes a landmark new novel set two decades after her beloved Pulitzer Prize–winning masterpiece, To Kill a Mockingbird.
Maycomb, Alabama. Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch—"Scout"—returns home from New York City to visit her aging father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise's homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town, and the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt. Featuring many of the iconic characters from To Kill a MockingbirdGo Set a Watchman perfectly captures a young woman, and a world, in painful yet necessary transition out of the illusions of the past—a journey that can only be guided by one's own conscience.
Written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman imparts a fuller, richer understanding and appreciation of Harper Lee. Here is an unforgettable novel of wisdom, humanity, passion, humor, and effortless precision—a profoundly affecting work of art that is both wonderfully evocative of another era and relevant to our own times. It not only confirms the enduring brilliance of To Kill a Mockingbird, but also serves as its essential companion, adding depth, context, and new meaning to an American classic.

My thoughts
The first thing I would like to say is reading Go Set a Watchman did not change or affect my opinion of To Kill a Mockingbird. I think both books are unique stories. I love Go Set a Watchman for exactly what it is and what it represents.

That being said, I am so glad this book was not published before To Kill a Mockingbird. Personally, all the characters, their experiences, their stories made a lot more sense to me having read TKAMB first. It was not easy to forget about Lee's first book while reading Go Set a Watchman but it was exciting to see these characters in a different way, a different perspective. I like we can still see Harper Lee's voice in this book and some of the elements of To Kill a Mockingbird. There are parts that remained of TKAMB.

Go Set a Watchman, the story of 26 years old Jean Louise (Scout), living in New York, who returns home, to Maycom Alabama for a few weeks and discovers in a sad and bad way that her father Atticus is not the perfect man she always thought he was. The only person she could trust and believe in. She experiences how her view of the world is changing, she learns how her family is changing. She cannot completely understand how her father raised her in a way and now he can have such different opinions, specifically, about black people. I like how this book shows us an imperfect side of Atticus because to me, it makes him more human. I like the confrontations between Atticus and Jean Louise because this shows us a different relationship between them. It was fascinating to meet the 26 years old Jean Louise, her views of the world and above all, the way she sees and visualizes black people, the way she feels about them.

This book explores and challenges the way we have come to see Atticus, Jean Louise, all these beloved characters we got to know in To Kill a Mockingbird. Another thing I like about this book is how we get to know the characters more. In my case, I had mix feelings about Alexandra. I did not like her that much in TKAMB but I was glad I got to see more of her. That helped me to have a better understanding about what she goes through in life and why she is the way she is.

I love and appreciate how sincere and honest the views and opinions are expressed in the book because it forces us, it makes us think and question ourselves, the readers about racism, about family, about life, about reality, about the decisions we make in life, not only as individuals but as members of a community, specially a small town as Jean Louise's hometown.

In general, I liked the book a lot. For a first draft, there are things that could have been written differently but the story and the message on it, I think it's a brilliant one. It is the perfect complement to To Kill a Mockingbird.

My Favorite Quote

"The only thing I'm afraid of about this country is that its government will become someday so monstrous that the smallest person in it will be trampled underfoot, and then it would not be worth living in it. The only thing in America that is still unique in this tired world is that a man can go as far as his brains will take him or he can go to hell if he wants to, but it won't be that way much longer".


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