Review | Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee

19 July 2015


Pages: 278

From Harper Lee comes a landmark new novel set two decades after her beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Maycomb, Alabama. Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch - 'Scout' - returns home from New York City to visit her aging father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise's homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town and the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt. Featuring many of the iconic characters from To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman perfectly captures a young woman, and a world, in a painful yet necessary transition out of the illusions of the past - a journey that can be guided only by one's conscience. 

Written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman imparts a fuller, richer understanding and appreciation of Harper Lee. Here is an unforgettable novel of wisdom, humanity, passion, humor and effortless precision - a profoundly affecting work of art that is both wonderfully evocative of another era and relevant to our own times. It not only confirms the enduring brilliance of To Kill a Mockingbird, but also serves as its essential companion, adding depth, context and new meaning to an American classic.


I remember being 13 years old and on the recommendation of a teacher at school buying To Kill a Mockingbird and loving every single minute of the book. I loved seeing such a hard-hitting subject through the eyes of a child who idolised her father, Atticus Finch, who was defending a black man in the South who was accused of raping a woman in the town.

I loved Atticus as much as Scout loved him and this book shatters that. Completely and utterly shatters everything I read as a teen and loved about Atticus. How he stood up and defended a man accused of rape when the rest of the town they lived in were ready to condemn him.

I don't think the book was badly written, I loved reading the style that is just a part of reading Harper Lee's work but I just can't love what it has done to Atticus and having to watch Scout (or Jean Louise as she's known in this book) having to go through the realisation her father and family isn't who she thought they were.

I also loved seeing all the old characters we loved in TKAM and how they are now but there was one notably absence for me which I just couldn't get over!

I've been planning to re-read TKAM and I just hope that when I do I can forget what I learnt in this book but I don't think I'll be able to.


  1. Replies
    1. Sorry! I just wanted to love this but I just can't :(


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