With Harper Lee’s passing last week, I thought I’d round up all the many blog posts I’ve made about her and her two novels over the last several years. That woman is an inspiration.
Click through and enjoy some of the many ways she’s inspired this blog.
Let’s start with a spoiler-free version of my review of Go Set A Watchman.
This is a well-written novel that certainly reflects the style of Harper Lee. So many of the seeds that bloomed into To Kill A Mockingbird are evident throughout the novel. However, the story itself is lacking—cliched, uninspired and, leaving behind what you already know about Atticus Finch and the main characters, predictable.
It’s a good “first go” at a novel—one that was astutely nurtured by Lee’s editor into what eventually became TKAM. But, honestly, we should never have seen this book. As excited as I was when Watchman was first announced, I’ve slowly become a bit sad about the whole ordeal.
Watchman is an academic curiosity, certainly not a sequel to one of the most endearing novels ever written. The novel has its bright spots, but it too often falls into predictable patterns with melodramatic plot twists worthy of a profound piano crescendo. Dun, Dun, Duhhhhh.
I typically don’t have a numbered rating with my reviews. But, just for kicks, I’ll give Go Set A Watchman a 5 out of 10.
NOW ON TO THE SPOILER ZONE…
I hope to have my review of the new Harper Lee novel ready tomorrow. In the meantime, I thought I’d pull together some short quotes from reviews across the web.
Here’s what others are saying about Go Set A Watchman: Read more
If you dislike the new Harper Lee novel, Go Set A Watchman, and you happened to purchase the novel from Brilliant Books in Traverse City, Michigan…well, you’re in luck.
This independent bookshop is offering refunds to its readers, claiming the novel has been advertised as a “nice summer novel” instead of an “academic insight.”
If you ever doubted that Harper Lee could write, if you ever bit on the rumor that, perhaps, Truman Capote had secretly written To Kill A Mockingbird (explaining why Lee never wrote again), then Go Set A Watchman should erase those doubts.
As we’ve talked about before, Lee wrote Watchman years before Mockingbird. It was Lee’s editor who helped turn the Watchman novel into the classic that eventually became To Kill A Mockingbird. So, when you read Go Set A Watchman, you’re actually reading Mockingbird‘s first draft. Fascinating, isn’t it?
Lee’s editor, Tay Hohoff, saw something in Lee. She realized the type of writing Harper Lee was capable of, and she helped draw that out of her.
If you’re familiar with Watchman‘s story, then you know it’s rather controversial. Atticus Finch has become a racist old man. Scout, who has recently returned to Maycomb from New York City, is shocked to find Atticus and her boyfriend, Hank Clinton, at an organized “we hate black people” meeting at the courthouse.
Jean Louise (Scout) is stunned. Read more
Here are just a few of my thoughts about what I’ve read so far. Read more