Go Set A Watchman (Book Review)

Hello, from wherever you are reading this! I hope you have enjoyed the first few days of Spring, and are looking forward to anytime that can be spent outdoors. Earlier this month, I read Go Set A Watchman, by Harper Lee. On Wednesdays, I enjoy releasing any book reviews I have for that week. This is now the third week in a row that I have a book review being published on Wednesday.

The first one (on the 7th of March) was a decently done Facebook live video, via my Facebook page. The signal kept cutting out, and I’ll need to redo the video, as well as make a article for the book- Daughters of the Eclipse, Patience Godwin.

The week before, I did a book review of A Parenthesis in Eternity, Joel S. Goldsmith.

Last week, I did a book review of Milk and Honey, Rupi Kaur.

If you enjoy this blog and future weekly book discussions, then please feel free to comment, share, and follow me on my literary journey.

To Kill A Mockingbird


When I was in my freshman year in high school, To Kill A Mockingbird was a required reading for everyone, in the Spring semester. If I had taken AP classes earlier in my secondary schooling days, I would’ve read TKAM in eighth grade. Being from East Texas, this book was quintessential towards learning about states rights, government, and justice. If you recall the story of TKAM (or even the movie adaptation), then you might recall Atticus, Jean Louise (“Scout”), and Jem as one family. With Atticus being Maycomb’s lawyer, he was able to take a case over a boy being killed. Parts of TKAM is revisited in Go Set a Watchman, but the timeline of Go Set A Watchman is at a different point in time.

Before Reading

Before you read Go Set A Watchman, it would help if you would read over the synopsis of TKAM, which was something I ended up having to do, one hundred pages into the second book. Go Set A Watchman was originally going to be published as it was. Editors did not want to accept that part of the story first, which is how To Kill A Mockingbird came around two years later. This information, helped me make it through this book- while Go Set A Watchman was released over _______ years later, there are still editorial needs to be done to the book. It’s most likely my preference on a writing style, but I was able to look past it, as I was reading for fun.

Timeline

The timeline of Jean’s life starts when she is twenty and returning home for two weeks to Maycomb, Alabama. By this point, its the mid 19050s (just as Brown vs. The Board of Education was occuring). She had gone to a University in Georgia, and then moved to New York CIty for a few years. Her boyfriend, Hank, still resides in Maycomb and is still working with
Atticus- civil’s courts, Kiwanis Club, etc. She begins to revisit everyone she knows, and within three days of coming home, she makes a startling discovery about her father and the people she thought she knew so well.

Her father, Hank, and other men in the town went to a civil court meeting and Jean tagged along, silently. She sits up in the top balcony box (same spot where she sat during the trial in TKAM) and witnessed a special guest speaker talking about keeping african americans segregated from the rest of the community.
This revelation tears Jean up inside and it takes until the last two to three chapters, where she confronts Hank, her father, and her Uncle Jack. This results in emotional arguing and she eventually comes to terms with her Father being a part of the court.

What I didn’t like

Okay, reflecting on your childhood is okay to do, sometimes. Every other chapter had a reflection chapter, in relation to what Jean just discovered about her home environment the chapter before. Earlier, I talked about how there were some formating things gong on that I did not agree with. For example, when Jean would think something to herself, instead of having it in the original ink, I wish it would’ve been italicized.


In one of the reflection chapters, Jean takes us back to her schooling days, when she was transitioning to living as a tom boy to becoming more female. At one point, Jean thought she was pregnant, after understanding only a portion of how becoming pregnant occurs. Jean, at one point, considers killing herself over the fact that its been close to nine months, and she believes she’s pregnant.

Okay, for me personally, this whole three pages that occured around that, could’ve been avoided. If Jean had turned to Calprina, her mother figure in both TKAM and GSAW, then  she wouldn’t have attempted killing herself on something that actually wasn’t an issue. I do understand, that in that time period, women would want to hurt themselves because it was unethical to be unmarried and pregnant, no matter who the father was. Jean is a smart girl in some ways, but wouldn’t logic tell you that you can go talk with Calprina for these type of things?
Also, I don’t enjoy books that have a character act on or deeply consider suicide. If the character goes through a deep depression, that’s fine. As long as the character sees through to the silver lighting, and makes it through to the end.


Favorite Quotes

“Ain’t nothing in this world, so bad you can’t tell it.” -Culprina

“…there was a distinct and distasteful difference between one who paints and a painter, one who writes and a writer.”

“Aunty, there’s a drinking steak in every family.”


What are your opinions on Go Set a Watchman? Feel free to comment below, and I wish you a fantastic Easter weekend!

Cheers,
 Danielle

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