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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee

*Psst* Click the picture to find a copy
(Also! I filled up the book square so we are starting over!)

So I finished this book a long time ago, but I had so many other things that I wanted to post (fall fashion!). So now that I am getting around to it, I am here to say that I wasn't disappointed, but I also wasn't thrilled with Harper Lee's new book. I was Switzerland: totally neutral.

I thought it was a decent book, but I am so glad that To Kill a Mockingbird was published first, otherwise I might not have picked it up after reading Go Set A Watchman. Thank you to her publishers for requesting her to rewrite. Really, I'm biased though because TKAM is basically my favorite book.

I did really like seeing Scout as a teenager in the flashbacks. I think we've all wondered what the tomboy little girl would grow up to be like. I also loved that Harper Lee kept Scout a strong and independent character through the whole book. She is really the Atticus character in Go Set A Watchman. I don't want to give any spoilers, but it was great that even during a time period when it would have made sense for Scout to give in to the popular opinion and the opinion of her father, she held her ground and chose to have an independent thought process. Go Harper Lee!

I love, love, loved that Uncle Jack had a bigger part in this book. I liked his character in To Kill A Mockingbird and wanted more, and this book definitely delivered. He's a bit kookier than I would have imagined and I found my mind wandering during some of his strange monologues, but when it was important he was a great character and resource to Scout.

It's my understanding that Go Set A Watchman didn't go through strenuous editing processes, which I thought was rather evident. There were a lot of flashbacks that sometimes didn't fit quite right, like a puzzle piece that's been stepped on. I also noticed that some of the descriptive passages were very similar to the ones used in To Kill A Mockingbird. I read them (almost) back to back, so I might not have noticed this otherwise, but I'd be willing to say they were the same (like...word for word...) But I will let someone else on the Internet with more time on their hands prove this – time to call in Buzzfeed!

All in all, I think the media blew the "Atticus being racist" angle up a little too much. Yes, he makes racist comments, but they fit in the historical context of the novel and after he speaks his peace, it isn't all hellfire and brimstone like I was made out to believe. I don't condone any form of racism, exclusion or general unkindness of any kind, and that's why I hope people look away from the hot button issue of Atticus' character flaws and focus on Scout's overall demeanor and attitude.

I liked the ending and how things were resolved, Scout was able to keep her family and her independence, something we should all strive to do. I think it's important to have your own opinions and to stick by them despite the most prominent pressures in our lives, and apparently Harper Lee and I are in the same camp.

In the end, I applaud Harper Lee for once again creating a character who stands steadfast for their beliefs. I am glad there is another piece of her writing on my shelf.

Love you lots,

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