Friday, January 22, 2016

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

As the most-talked about book release of 2015, I have to admit I had reservations about this book. Over the years, there have been plenty of news stories about people trying to take advantage of Harper Lee, and I was pretty sure this was merely another blip on that radar.

Additionally - as this book was written and rejected by the publisher BEFORE "To Kill a Mockingbird" - I was afraid it would feel unfinished, like a rough draft, or incomplete in some way.

Gladly, I was delighted to find I was wrong, and I really enjoyed the book. While I have to admit it's not the masterpiece of Mockingbird, this is still a pretty satisfying novel in its own right.

While racism is again the theme of Lee's book, the personal issue for Scout is the discovery that her father, who she believes to be perfect and a god, is merely a man and simply human. The pedestal she's place him on doesn't just crack or wobble - it's swept away completely.

We discussed this book for the library's book club, and many people were off-put by the strong, seemingly disproportionate reaction Jean Louise has to her father's "citizen council" membership. That didn't bother me - instead, I wished Uncle Jack would just say what he meant instead of talking around and around in circles.

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