Go Set a Watchman

“Every man’s island, Jean Louise, every man’s watchman, is his conscience. There is no such thing as a collective conscious.”
― Harper Lee, Go Set a Watchman

Go Set a Watchman is a novel by Harper Lee published in 2015. After 55 years we now have a sequel to famous To Kill a Mockingbird. I read ‘To Kill a Mockingbird first time in 8th grade and I loved it, it was warm, deep and humorous even if it dealt with serious issues like rape and racial injustice. Writing was beautiful and Lee’s thoughts in that novel “Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.” & “I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.” can speak for themselves.

Go Set a Watchman left me confused. I finished reading it only few days after Lee had passed and I somehow had very high hopes for it. In general, I enjoyed the story and I was happy to read again about Maycomb and all the characters: Jean Louise, Atticus, Jem, Calpurnia… again. However, Go Set a Watchman seemed more like a draft of a novel than actual novel. And I think that was what I didn’t like. Everyone had told me it was a “sequel” and how great it was and there was all this hype around it. And true, writing was amazing and there were many great lines I have quoted here in this post, yet it was just a draft! There was NO depth I wanted there to be.

“Prejudice, a dirty word, and faith, a clean one, have something in common: they both begin where reason ends.”
― Harper Lee, Go Set a Watchman

The fact that Lee wrote this before she wrote ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ and how it is just a draft of it explains a lot. Also, in my opinion, it shows how much she developed as writer and how much, how work she put into writing, or let’s say editing ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’.

“A man can condemn his enemies, but it’s wiser to know them.”
― Harper Lee, Go Set a Watchman

I  MISSED LEE’S WRITING SO MUCH and her great mind too. That might sound weird but with books, I think we always get into authors’ heads. However, this just isn’t a sequel (well…except plotwise & characterwise maybe) and it’s in no way a finished !! or ready novel and I don’t know why they ever published something like this claiming it was. I think, if publishers would have marketed this as a companion book or some kind of a “bonus material”, it wouldn’t have disappointed so many readers or have received so many negative reviews. 3/5 stars

Tips

  1. Naturally, you MUST read To Kill a Mockingbird first if you haven’t already, because this won’t make any sense to you + if it’s been a long time, you should have a glimpse at To Kill a Mockingbird to remember what happened.
    2. Don’t expect a sequel! Or finished novel! Expect a draft-ling that will make you love To Kill a Mockingbird and Harper Lee even more. Seriously I wonder if publishers and marketers had read these books or did they just think of the money they’ll make.
    3. Every single Harper Lee fan should read this! Why? See tip #2.
    4. If you have a possibility and you’re English is good enough, read it in language it was written. This Alabama dialect makes it more authentic in both of novels.
    5. It’s not too long, about 300 pages. It might be difficult to get started but it quickly sucks you in.

“If you did not want much, there was plenty.”
― Harper Lee, Go Set a Watchman

Have you read Go Set a Watchman? What did you think of it?

                                               Buy Go Set a Watchman: A Novel on Amazon

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