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review 2017-06-23 18:32
Go Set a Watchman: A Novel - Lee Harper

The book was handed to me as a follow up from a quick discussion with a colleague. I decided to read it straightaway as I don’t like borrowing books from someone and keeping them for a long time. I honestly didn’t know what to expect: the title is ambiguous and the hype around the time of its release was quite substantial. All I knew is that it was by Harper Lee, the author of the famous To Kill A Mockingbird. I didn’t even read the blurb for the book. So, for some reason I was expecting another court room drama based on racial tensions of the American South. My advice: read the blurb.

 

Despite not reading the blurb, I was able to immerse into the book quickly enough. If you haven’t read To Kill A Mockingbird it won’t play to your disadvantage as this novel can stand alone on its own feet. The writing is not complex, but intelligent enough to engage the reader. The theme of the book is politically charged – I can understand why it would not be printed back in the 1950s. It is set in the 1950s and feels more autobiographical, personal rather just another novel about the history of segregation in the South. The novel is threaded with Jean Louise’s reminiscence about her childhood. These memories where everything for her as a child was black and white, right and wrong serve as juxtaposition to the her adult world where nothing is black and white and some things may seem wrong, but motives might be right. 

 

A quick overview: Jean Louise ‘Scout’ Finch is now twenty six years old and live in New York City. She returns home to Maycomb, Alabama on her usual annual visit, but this time something is off. She secretly follows her father and her friend to a Citizens’ Council where one of the guests is permitted to give a racist speech. Shaken up that her father did not do anything to stop this man, Jean Louise is devastated. As she looks around her, she begins to notice increased sympathy with these kind of sentiments. She finds herself on the road of self-discovery and making a hard decision: to either stick to what she believes and leave her family or stay with her family and submit to the growing feeling of the place.

 

The novel does not answer any questions, but presents the day-to-day tensions and decisions that many American citizens had to live with in the 1950s. I would say that it is even relevant now. I found that the author’s call in this book is to reason. That reason will prevail above all. For me the book was summarised on page 270, “But the white supremacists fear reason, because they know cold reason beats them. Prejudice, a dirty word, and faith, a clean one, have something in common: they both begin where reason ends.”

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text 2016-08-12 05:40
Reading progress update: I've read 278 out of 278 pages.
Go Set a Watchman: A Novel - Lee Harper

Well. That was interesting. Thank God for the editor who said no to this hot mess and helped Lee turn the best bits into something better. Luckily, no cats were harmed in the satisfying of my curiosity.

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text 2016-08-08 04:51
Reading progress update: I've read 3 out of 278 pages.
Go Set a Watchman: A Novel - Lee Harper

I won't be rating or reviewing this one since I feel squicky about how it came to be published. I just want to satisfy a little intellectual curiosity. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

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review 2016-07-21 12:13
Go set a Watchman Harper Lee
Go Set a Watchman: A Novel - Lee Harper

An absolutely beautiful book. Harper lee's Go set a Watchman isn't quite as good as to Kill a mocking bird, but it's totally "The book" to lay the final bricks to what is a well loved book by all generation's.

 

In go set a Watchman, we meet Cheeky, Fesity Very opinionated "scout" Again. The girl that every woman would love as a daughter at least I would! This time, however, she's not the cute in dungarees lil Scoutlin! She's a grown up Lady of New York. Returning to Visit Maycomb.

 

Set in the backdrop of one of the most Historical Changes in American society, Increasing Civil rights tensions and an end to segregation. This book exposes the Prejudices Between races, North versus South and the different generation's and the way of them.

Truly, this book is an amazing insight into American History that Harper Lee wrote. It raises issues that are still highly spoke of today.

 

I loved this book, reading it was like going right back to a family I love in the Deep south! what with the infamous and much loved Atticus and the other finches. It made me smile. But also made me tear up Harper doesn't mess around and lays a slap to the senses in at least five pages in the start That left me shell shocked for a few hours.. I will leave that with you to find out! :) T

 

Too many people have been left disappointed to their own misimaginings of this book, but if you read it with an open mind (and try not to compare it too much to TKAM) I think you’ll be surprised. It was a wonderful story, filled with a range of ideologies and opinions that are great to sink your teeth into.

 

P.s I'm so carrying this book around with me for a week at least while i have my book comedown. :0P

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review 2016-03-08 04:52
Go Set a Watchman - Harper Lee

Okay. Uh. Where to begin... Yikes?

 

I swore I wouldn't read this, because I'm still pretty sure an ailing Harper Lee was manipulated into publishing it. But then it popped up right when I was looking for my next read and... well, here we are.

 

If you think of this as an interesting first draft (which is what it is!) then it's an enjoyable peek into the writing process. If you can convince yourself this is the story of an entirely different family in Alabama, it's not the worst. But if you try to think of this as a sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird, it just won't land. It doesn't make any sense, because it contradicts the core character values that so thoroughly shaped the first novel. That's why I think it's best read as a draft-- how interesting to see how the story evolved! But as much else... eh.

 

I'm not sorry I read this but I also wouldn't recommend it very readily. The part that made me almost stop was 

Jem being dead the whole time! Like, what?? Bye, girl. 

(spoiler show)
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