GO SET A WATCHMAN-HARPER LEE REVIEW

““Every man’s island, Jean Louise, every man’s watchman, is his conscience. There is no such thing as a collective conscious.”
Harper Lee, Go Set a Watchman

Well this book was both nothing like I expected and yet everything I imagined it to be.

Jean Louise”Scout” Finch returns home from New York to visit her elderly father. While there, amidst the political turmoil of the civil rights era, her homecoming changes when she realizes the bitter truths that her closest friends and family come to light.

When I started this book, I had a completely different set of expectations in mind. I read To Kill A Mockingbird in high school, like most other students, and I had thought that we would find grown up versions of the same characters, doing exactly what they had done in the companion novel.

“Remember this also: it’s always easy to look back and see what we were, yesterday, ten years ago. It is hard to see what we are. If you can master that trick, you’ll get along.”
Harper Lee, Go Set a Watchman

First of all, Jean Louise is exactly the character that I would imagine her to be grown up. I am not surprised at all and am really glad that this translated in both GSAW and TKAM. However, literally every other character was so surprising to me!

Atticus Finch, for all that he is a great man, is not the man that we are used to seeing through Jean Louise’s eyes. This book does a great job at taking someone who society would consider to be a genuinely good person, and revealing something about them that we would never expect.

In doing this, we as readers grow up and realize something along with Jean Louise. We realize that those we idolize, those heroes that we have in our lives. They’re human, they aren’t perfect, and when we bring them on to the human level we can see exactly how flawed and mistaken they can be.

Overall, this book? Not what I expected it all. But definitely as great that I imagined.

I can’t wait for future high school students to have to analyze this book for their classes.

“If you did not want much, there was plenty.”
Harper Lee, Go Set a Watchman

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