6 Jun 2018



Maycomb, Alabama. Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch – ‘Scout’ – returns home from New York City to visit her ageing father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise’s homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town and the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt. Featuring many of the iconic characters from To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman perfectly captures a young woman, and a world, in painful yet necessary transition out of the illusions of the past – a journey that can be guided only by one’s own conscience. 
- Inner Front Cover Blurb

Since Atlanta, she had looked out the dining-car window with a delight almost physical.
- First Sentence, Part 1; Chapter 1

 There was no doubt Alexandra Finch Hancock was imposing from any angle; her behind was no less uncompromising than her front. Jean Louise had often wondered, but never asked, where she got her corsets. They drew up her bosom to giddy heights, pinched in her waist, flared out her rear, and managed to suggest that Alexandra's had once been an hourglass figure.
- Memorable Moment, Page 26

SOURCE ... A Reading Group read.


MY THOUGHTS ... Whilst I am of course aware that its out there, I personally have very rarely come across book snobbery but the author's previous novel 'To Kill A Mockingbird', a book I neither enjoyed as a teen when I first read it nor as a more mature reader many years later, is one of those that I'm constantly told I MUST have liked, that EVERYONE likes it.

Not a predecessor as much of the hype surrounding it would have you believe, Go Set A Watchman is in fact no more a sequel than it is a prequel. 

Surrounded in controversy. Allegedly written some years prior to To Kill A Mockingbird, this, the author's second novel, tells the story of Scout (now an adult known as Jean Louise); a story that it is said Ms Lee's then editor persuaded her to go away and revise, re-writing her as a young girl as opposed to a women in her mid-twenties.

Not a book I enjoyed any more than To Kill A Mockingbird. Alas I found Go Set A Watchman, lacking in anything other than a rudimentary plot (much of it reading not so much as a story as a series of short stories, of daydreams/flashbacks chronicling various events), tedious read. 

But most of all, there was the writing itself.

It is reputed that other than the most basic of proofreads the book received no editing whatsoever; something I am more than prepared to believe as woefully amateurish, meandering; the formatting and sentence structure poor; the third person narration shifting aimlessly ... I could go on.

Said to have lain in the back of a cupboard for decades, sad to say but I can't help but feel it was perhaps best left there. 


Mary (Bookfan) said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I haven't been moved to read this book due to tepid reviews.

Kelly said...

It's only been in recent years that I read To Kill A Mockingbird (quickly followed by watching the film version... both of which I enjoyed). This is one I have no desire to read. Seems like I remember hearing all sorts of controversy about it - even a postulation that this was her only novel and that her dear friend Truman Capote actually wrote TKAM. Who knows.

I appreciate your review and it just puts another nail in the coffin as far as I'm concerned.

Melliane said...

someone offered me the previous book of the author

nightwingsraven said...

Thank you for your honest and
heartfelt review. For my part,
I have no desire to read this

Literary Feline said...

I confess I have no desire to read this book. I did like To Kill a Mockingbird, unlike you, but everything I hear about this book--from the controversy to the writing--has me wanting to skip this one.

Suko said...

Tracy, thank you for your honest review. I enjoyed the humorous Memorable Moment.

WordsPoeticallyWorth said...

Greetings Tracy. I won't be putting this one on my reading list. Thank you for the review. Blessings to you. Love love, Andrew.

Nikki-ann said...

Can you believe I've not even read 'To Kill A Mockingbird'? :D

Gina R said...

Ah shucks...I am one of those that LOVED TKAMB but I've heard the mix of reviews of this one and frankly...it doesn't sound promising. Still, one day I'll tackle it, until then...off to better reading pastures with you! ^_^