Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Book Review | Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee

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 MockingbirdGo Set a Watchmanperfectly 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. 

Pages: 276 | Format: Hardback
This has to be the most anticipated book of the year, right? It's been such a long time since To Kill a Mockingbird came out, and just as long since Harper Lee released a book. I'll admit, that when I read that this book was going to be released. I was giddily jumping up and down, and telling anyone who would listen.
So you can imagine, when it got around to release day, and I saw it sitting there in the shop, I couldn't say no. I'd already read part one, on the drive home from buying it.
With books that have this much anticipation, and high hopes based on my love of To Kill a Mockingbird, there's always a risk that is building it up too much, will make it fall flat and be disappointing.
However, for me at least, this book didn't let me down. For the most part, it was a great book, which I flew through. I loved this continuation of the story, and seeing where everyone ended up. The writing was beautifully done, and it definitely pulled me in.
It didn't, I'll admit, reach the amazing heights that Harper Lee's first novel did, but I did really enjoy it.
The one thing, for me, which let this book down, was that it felt a little disjointed, when seeing it as a sequel or continuation to To Kill a Mockingbird. This, in all likelihood, is because this book was written first, and not intended in the beginning, to follow on from a different story.
However, parts of this novel that shined for me, were all of the flashbacks, showing more of Jean-Louise's childhood. I also liked that with her character, you can really see the connection between the first book and this one. The first book focusses a lot on what shapes you into an adult, and I saw all of the influences from her childhood, showing through in who she became as an adult. So I really liked that.
I've heard mixed reviews over this book, but for me, I would say that it's a really enjoyable book, and it's worth a read.


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