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Search tags: go-set-a-watchman
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review 2018-01-06 04:25
Go Set a Watchman: A Novel - Lee Harper

In sum, "GO SET A WATCHMAN" bears out Thomas Wolfe's saying 'you can't go home again.' Jean Louise (better known as 'Scout' from Harper Lee's best-selling novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird") journeys back from NYC (where she has lived for some time) to her family home in Maycomb County, Alabama. It is the mid-1950s and the South is in ferment. 

Jean Louise has much to reflect upon and revisits different stages of her life in a Southern society that increasingly becomes too restrictive to her liking. There is family conflict that lays bare the eccentricities and contradictions in people. "GO SET A WATCHMAN" is not a great novel, but it was worthwhile to read as a way of getting a glimpse into a moment in U.S. history when a society based on the 'old verities' and racial segregation found itself compelled to take steps to make a better society for all its citizens.
 

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review 2017-09-25 17:01
Go set a... sketchy tale about why this was published at all?
Go Set a Watchman - Harper Lee

I have one good thing to say about this: it's not, technically, canon. No stars because I don't know how to rate a ghost book, one that should not have been.

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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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