Highly anticipated sequel doesn’t disappoint

Ashley Orendoff, Staff Writer

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go set a watchman

The literary world was taken by storm this summer with the release of Harper Lee’s much anticipated sequel, Go Set a Watchman. As a general fan of reading and To Kill a Mockingbird, I approached the new novel with anticipation, and I was not disappointed.

Told through Scout’s eyes, the story provides humor, nostalgia, sadness, romance, independence, and quite a bit of secondhand embarrassment. Through her memories, we learn much about how she grew up to be the person she is.

Jean Louise Finch, previously known as Scout, still remains the stubborn, tomboyish person she always was, but we also see how she has grown. Living in New York now, she is educated, rash, and very modern. If there is one thing we learn about Scout in this novel, it is that she does not like change. Unfortunately she encounters quite a lot of it on her vacation home. The attitude between white and black characters has changed with the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement.

The conflict in Go Set a Watchman is mostly concerning how Scout finds herself different from the rest of her hometown. She is bothered by the apparent racism that has evolved from her neighbors and family. Growing up she never thought of black people as any less, and her opinion has not changed. Meanwhile, everyone around her is apparently changing their opinions and becoming prejudiced out of fear. She finds herself disgusted by the people around her, especially her father whom she realizes is not the infallible hero she thought he was. Throughout reading, it is very easy to agree with Scout and wonder along with her about the mindset of her neighbors.

Perhaps the only thing I could possibly say about the book that is not pleasant is that it is unstructured. The story jumps between current events and memories, seemingly randomly, and without distinction between the two. Similarly the conclusion comes quite rapidly after the climax of the story and seemed slightly rushed. It is overall a great, interesting read, especially for anyone who always wondered what happened to little Scout Finch. The atmosphere of the book allows the reader to experience firsthand, the emotions in the story and feel personally connected to the characters.

An interesting, easy read, Go Set a Watchman is a go-to book for those who enjoy the Civil Rights Movement, the life of a young woman in the South, the inner turmoil of being different, confronting your heroes, and just a bit of humor too.

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