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My Thoughts On The First 100 Pages Of Go Set A Watchman

SPOILERS BELOW.

Here are just a few of my thoughts about what I’ve read so far.

  • Scout is all grown up, and she doesn’t go by Scout anymore. It’s “Jean Louise” these days. That said, she’s still the Scout we know and love. At this point, this character feels fairly consistent with what I read in Mockingbird. I could easily see that little girl growing up into this young adult.
  • She’s living in New York City and returning home to Maycomb to see her beau, Henry “Hank Clinton. Culture shock for sure.
  • Atticus, to this point, is a background character. But I’m sure that will change.
  • That said, it’s really strange to read about Atticus as a 70 year old, nearly-retired lawyer.
  • It’s really cool to read the flashbacks in the novel. They’re 3 to 4 pages and it was these flashbacks that inspired To Kill A Mockingbird. Harper Lee’s editor thought the flashbacks were the strongest part of the novel and wanted her to build a new novel around them.
  • Harper Lee describes the setting, Maycomb, much better in TKAM.
  • I can’t believe Jem is dead.
  • I need more Dill! He’s a part of the flashbacks, but he’s overseas during the events of the novel, so we don’t hear much about him.

Like I mentioned before, I’m trying to read this novel simply as an alternate universe with the same characters. It’s not a sequel. But it’s difficult to completely detach myself from TKAM while reading this. I think that will be even more difficult once we get into some of the more disturbing aspects of the Atticus Finch character.

More to come on Go Set A Watchman next week.

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15 Comments Post a comment
  1. If an editor thought that the 3-4 pages of flashbacks were the strongest part of the book, it doesn’t give me a good impression of the rest of the story. I think I am going to wait on this one till more reviews are out

    Liked by 3 people

    July 23, 2015
  2. Amanda #

    I can’t wait to buy this book and read it. Unfortunately, I am ‘Game of Thrones’ obsessed right now but “Go Set A Watchman’ is on my list. thanks for the heads up xx

    Like

    July 23, 2015
  3. asotherswere #

    I’m in the middle of it as well, and my thoughts are pretty much the same as yours.

    I’m taking it for what it is: not a sequel, not really a companion even. Just another novel by Harper Lee. And when you look at it that way, there’s really no cause to criticize. I love it.

    Like

    July 23, 2015
  4. I’m not 100 pages in yet, but at this point I don’t agree with you about Scout. I think she still sounds like an 8 yr old with more grown up topics to be shocking with. In TKAM I saw her as a deep thinking, passionate young girl trying to figure the world out. She asked tough questions and often mis-spoke or was less genteel than those around her thought she should be. I expect to see some of that in a grown-up version, but I would also expect to see that she has learned to temper her speech and personality like most of us do as we mature.

    Like

    July 23, 2015
  5. I can’t believe Jem is dead either! 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    July 23, 2015
  6. Not really a spoiler here, but after reading just about every review of Go Set A Watchman I could find, it is inevitable that To Kill A Mockingbird will never be read the same way again. Some may find that…unfortunate.

    Liked by 1 person

    July 23, 2015
  7. On a more positive note, I guess it’s my turn to reiterate what a delightful blog “101” has been.

    Like

    July 23, 2015
  8. Reblogged this on oshriradhekrishnabole.

    Like

    July 24, 2015
  9. Forgive me if I’m taking advantage of your site. This is the review I posted today on Goodreads after finishing Go Set a Watchman.

    I choose not to comment on the soundings (mostly on social media and blogs) made pre-release or upon the release of “Go Set a Watchman.” My review stands apart from those because it’s a review, not a response to someone else’s opinion.
    To be as fair as possible to GSAW, I went into the book with an open mind. I can let things in (a new perspective) and let other things (pre-conceived notions) out that way. First of all, from early on in the book, I could see that, as in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” this was another ‘coming of age’ story for Scout (Jean Louise in GSAW). This fact became even more apparent near the end. She truly comes into her own. Especially, and surprisingly given the controversy in the family, with the help of her uncle and father.
    The apparent change in Atticus–which wasn’t really a change at all–was revealed to us on or around page 121 (Hardcover large print edition). The stuff truly hit the fan close to the end between Atticus and Jean Louise. I, for one, was happy for their exchange; as I said, it revealed a “Scout” growing into the Jean Louise she was meant to be.
    I had a problem with the racist attitude reflected in some of Atticus’ remarks, but I didn’t lose respect for him. He still seemed humble in most ways, admitting some mistakes. I also had a problem with some of the remarks Jean Louise made. There were times when she seemed self-righteous and not so humble.
    If someone reading this review chooses to read GSAW, I could offer lots of advice. But I will, most of all, suggest you take note of when Atticus calls his daughter “Scout” and the context in which it happens. It’s quite telling, especially near the end.

    So that’s my take, for what it’s worth. Thanks for the blog. I always enjoy reading it.

    Like

    July 24, 2015
  10. Penny Reads #

    I am also about half way through reading Go Set a Watchman and I completely agree with you on taking it as a stand alone. After all that I have read and heard about how the book was written and published, it just doesn’t feel right to treat it explicitly a sequel. Besides, TKAM is a calibre of it’s own and I don’t think my affections for it will be easily swayed..

    Like

    July 24, 2015
  11. carolinesofiya #

    I also just got through the first 100 pages of Go Set a Watchman, and like you said, I find it really hard to not connect/really think about TKAM when I’m reading this book because they don’t necessarily “fit together.” However, I feel like 100 pages in it is far less engaging than TKAM ever was, but that might just be my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

    July 24, 2015
  12. Reblogged this on elmismocolor.

    Like

    August 7, 2015

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Thoughts on Go Set A Watchman | Reflections by Rebecca
  2. Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman, a critical review | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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