Thursday, April 28, 2016

Book Review : Go Set A Watchman

Somehow I missed reading, To Kill A Mockingbird when I was young. I knew the story was set around racial prejudice issues and since it wasn't a subject that affected me, I never felt inclined to read it. I read Go Set A Watchman as part of my book club.

I once heard Harper Lee say she never wrote another book because she didn't have anything else to say. Since Go Set A Watchman was written first, I assumed it was about similar issues. So I quite surprised when I read it to discover it was more of a 'coming to age' novel.

Scout is called Jean Louise throughout the story and it seems she had a very idolized view of her father, that the whole family was worried about. She is now in her twenties but acts more like a rebellious teenager when she realizes that her father is going down a path she believes is inconsistent with the man she knew growing up. While Jean Louise doesn't like the path her father has taken, he has sound reasons for doing so which aren't entirely racial driven, but more based on expediency.

It's interesting that people came away from To Kill A Mockingbird with the same idealized view of Atticus that his daughter had. Perhaps that's why Harper Lee chose to publish this book so many years later.

I heard the book had some editing problems, which I often don't notice, but I was surprised by the sudden changes in point of view and wondered if that was what people were referring to, or if it was just a dated way of writing.

Overall I found it an interesting read.

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