Saturday, August 8, 2015

Go Set a Watchman

Lee, Harper.  Go Set a Watchman.  NY: HarperCollins, c2015.  278 pages.

I had a conversation about this book at a garage sale this morning.  The woman I was talking to said her friend had not liked the book because she said that Atticus had turned into a racist.  I was a little shocked that anyone who had finished the book would come away with that impression.

In this sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird written 55 years later, Scout is 26 years old and living in New York.  She returns home for a two week visit and within days is ready to leave and never return.  I didn't find Jean Louise (Scout) lovable in this book.  While she aged in years, she was still naive and childish in some ways and it diminished her character.  It was not until she finally faced up to some truths that she found painful, that she was able to move beyond the Scout of the past and become her true self.  The quotation from the Bible is key to this novel.  "Every man's watchman, is his conscience."

Because Scout is older in this novel, I think junior high students will have a harder time relating to Scout and the more adult things occurring in the book, but senior high level students should enjoy reading it after they have completed To Kill a Mockingbird.   Review by Mrs. Belknap

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