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Go Set a Watchman- Harper Lee

(11 Posts)
Craftycat Mon 06-Feb-17 12:08:07

When I heard this book had been released- a sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird set 20 years later- I was so excited & intended to buy it as soon as I could- having loved her previous book.
Then the reviews totally slated it & I decided to wait until it was a bit cheaper. I finally got it last week for our next Reading Group book & I could not put it down. Just goes to show that reviewers are not always right.
It is an excellent story, well told. Yes- it is very different from the previous book & yes- it does raise a lot of questions on the character of both Atticus & Scout but it is a well told story & really makes you think.
It has some humour- one part really funny- but the main concern of the book- the issue of segregation & human rights in 1950's USA is powerful.
I'd love to know what other Gransnetters thought of it.

Greyduster Mon 06-Feb-17 16:43:04

I got it from the library just before Christmas, and I have to say I loved the writing, and most of the characters - but not Jean Louise (Scout) this time round. I found her and her attitudes towards the significant adults in her life rather immature. The vignettes of life in a small town in the Deep South, and the echoes of the earlier book, were excellent.

Auntieflo Tue 07-Feb-17 08:39:20

I got my copy from a charity shop, last year and read it just before Christmas. I loved it, and like you, wonder whether reviewers are reading the same book. Think I said something similar on a thread about What Are You Reading Now.

BBbevan Wed 08-Feb-17 05:05:33

I bought it, but did not enjoy it. Sad to say I gave up half way. I could not engage with any of the characters. Big disappointment.

Antonia Wed 08-Feb-17 09:42:05

I enjoyed it. I wouldn't say I loved it although I was pleased to 'recognise' Scout as an adult. Her manner of speech hadn't changed, but it was a shock to read that Jem had died and I thought that his death was somewhat glossed over. Atticus's changing attitudes I thought were interesting, from the point of view of an older person displaying attitudes that were inherently ingrained, as a result of their society and only surfacing as old age crept in.

grannymouse303 Wed 15-Feb-17 09:41:07

I enjoyed Harper Lee's style of storytelling & I think she was an excellent writer. I actually liked that Atticus isn't the person we thought he was - it just shows how complex the terrible racism of the time was. I liked Scout as an adult and I was glad she was still stubborn and scrappy.

Ginny42 Wed 15-Feb-17 10:56:22

I'll have to read Watchman again. As I was reading it, it occurred to me not that Atticus had changed, but perhaps he wasn't who I'd thought he was all along, which was a huge disappointment to me. I'd viewed Atticus as the embodiment of Harper Lee's views on racism. Did his change reflect Harper Lee's life experience? Had the case just been a professional challenge? Yet he treated Calpurnia as a member of the Finch family, gave her rights and demanded that the children treat her with respect, which made him my teenage hero in the 1960's. Mind you, Gregory Peck's Atticus had a lot to do with that!

I pre-ordered Go Set a Watchman as soon as publication was announced. The first copies had pages missing and I wondered whether some GNetters had one of those copies and that's why they didn't make much sense.

To Kill a Mockingbird is my all time favourite read and I treated myself to the anniversary edition of Cissy Spacek's superb recording, which I listen to repeatedly driving up and down the motorways.

Welshwife Wed 15-Feb-17 11:11:50

I pre ordered my copy - do you know where the missing pages were from - I will gave an investigation as did mot know about it.

Ginny42 Wed 15-Feb-17 14:34:47

Sorry, it wasn't missing pages, it was two lines missing from six pages towards the end of the book. I pre-ordered mine from Amazon. Shortly afterwards I got an email informing me that early copies had a fault and they sent me another copy.

Niobe Wed 15-Feb-17 14:50:20

GSAW was not a sequel to Mockingbird! It was the first draft of a novel by Harper Lee and turned down for publication. She then rewrote it moving the timescale and changing the characters. That novel was To Kill a Mockingbird! Lee did not want Watchman published but by the time she was old and frail others saw the opportunity to make a lot of money! It should not be read as a sequel.

trisher Wed 15-Feb-17 14:55:04

I enjoyed it and thought it was interesting both for its examination of racism in the 1960s but also because of the way it showed how the relationship between father and daughter changes and shifts. Atticus wasn't the man he was in To Kill but that man was always viewed through Scout's eyes. Part of growing up is accepting our parents have faults and I thought this really came through. I liked the little details about the sort of things that were acceptable in New York but simply not suitable for the South, like the clothes she wore.