Go Set A Watchman

Go Set A Watchmanby Harper LeeIt’s hard to follow up a classic like To Kill A Mockingbird, especially after 55 years.  Harper Lee’s other manuscript has finally been published, and fans of To Kill A Mockingbird may not like what they read.  The story didn’t draw me in until about page 100.  After that, I enjoyed it and tried to take it with a grain of salt.  The story takes place 20 years after To Kill A Mockingbird and some of the changes that have taken place will not be to readers’ liking.  Atticus has lost his saintliness and become a more of a regular human being.  This shift, in fact, is the crux of the story.  When Jean Louise (a.k.a. Scout) discovers that the racism of 1950s Alabama is now part of her father’s world-view, she has a breakdown.  She must come to terms with Atticus the man as opposed to Atticus-who-can-do-no-wrong the father.  Readers will also struggle with this new Atticus as many of us have revered him for years.There are other changes that are quite unsettling which I won’t give away here.  Suffice to say, some To Kill A Mockingbird fans may want to avoid this novel, but many, like me, won’t be able to stay away.  Overall I liked the book and I can still separate it from my feelings about Lee’s original novel.