Review for Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee!
Quick View Review:
Characters: ***** (5/5)
Plot: **** (4/5)
Writing Quality: ***** (5/5)
Amazon Rating: *** (3.5/5)
We’re back in Maycomb, everyone! Jean Louise Finch, better known as “Scout”, is now twenty six and lives in the Big Apple. She returns home for two weeks every year to visit her aging father and her childhood friends. Scout’s home is being greatly affected by tensions between civil rights activists and conservative Southern thinkers, but Jean Louise has always thought that her family firmly believes in equal rights for all and doesn’t get involved in these conflicts. That is, until she learns a few truths that make her question her father and the others closest to her during her current visit. Flashbacks from To Kill A Mockingbird flood her memory, and Scout truly starts to doubt everything she’s always known to be true. Experience Scout’s transition from the past into becoming a mature adult in this first draft of To Kill A Mockingbird!
This is a great book to read from an analytical and reflective perspective. For the longest time, I couldn’t understand what made Scout forgive her father and accept his actions, but once I did figure it out, it gave the book an entirely different aspect that I absolutely loved. When I didn’t understand Scout’s forgiveness, the book was a jumble of anecdotes with a plot twist that angered and frustrated me endlessly. When I discovered the true meaning of this twist, I thought about it for days, not able to let go of Harper Lee’s simple and amazing genius that will leave you pondering human nature for hours on end.
Of course the characters get a 5 out of 5. There’s no way they deserve any less: Harper Lee deftly gave everyone complex and realistic personalities. The whole point of the book was realizing that there are layers to everyone: nobody’s perfect, everybody has faults, and you can never know someone entirely. This book would have been severely disappointing if, despite the moral message of the book being that everybody’s personality is complex, the author had poorly represented her characters. Fortunately, Lee’s incredible knowledge of personalities and people made this book as tremendous as it was.
This book, like so many of my favorites, was focused on relationships and emotional discovery, not on page-turning action. What sets this book apart, though, was that the plot fit the story’s goal perfectly and the idea was executed flawlessly. Lee’s writing was beautifully descriptive, and she did an amazing job at conveying every feeling of each character.
Overall, this book showcased rare and stunning writing and will take you on a beautiful tear-jerking emotional journey. If you read To Kill A Mockingbird and haven’t read this book yet, then this book absolutely needs to be put at the top of your reading list. If you haven’t read Harper Lee’s first-published novel, though, I think it would be interesting if you read this one first as it is the first draft… However, I recommend this book to everyone, as it has the ability to change your perspective about human nature and the people around you.
Make sure to come back next Wednesday for a new review!