Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Book Review: Go Set A Watchman

Jean Louise (Scout) is all grown up and contemplating marriage in the onset of Harper Lee's subsequent novel to "To Kill a Mockingbird." This book does not sound interesting to children, unless they grew up reading TKAM and want to read more from Lee.

Jean Louise has been living in New York and returns to Maycomb and her aging father, Atticus Finch. She is disheartened to see how things have changed with her father and her home town. Set in Alabama in 1955, Scout is seeing the changes in the world reflected in her beloved home town.

The story plods along to a long winded conclusion. The best parts are the flashbacks that let the reader catch up with what has happened in the last 10-15 years. Jean Louise's relationship with Henry is sweet, but there is a distance that may be intentional as Jean Louise is comfortable with the idea of being alone. Or maybe the distance is because he is new to the reader, but an old friend to Jean Louise. The long simmering romance between the two is revealed in playful memories.

The more important relationship is between Jean Louise and her father, the much admired Atticus Finch.  Her disappointment in what she learns of him is palpable. Fans of Lee's iconic novel may share that sentiment.

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