Go Set a Watchman

I had a plan, a schedule, for Taking My Blog Seriously in the Grand Scheme of retiring from the Real World into my own, where I might live in peace with my threads and my pens for stitching and writing. I planned a blog-schedule for posts over a two-week period; it was all set down in black-and-white in my notebook and diary.

But I have only to write my plan down to feel that it has happened and is done, and for me to lose all interest. So I’m going to rethink the best way for Taking My Blog Seriously.

And in the meantime, today, I shall talk a little about Go Set a Watchman, the controversial novel by Harper Lee.

Let me start by saying that not even studying To Kill a Mockingbird to within an inch of its life could make me hate it. I have always adored Scout, and it is a powerful story, probably made all the more so because of Scout’s age. Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings and all that.

Go Set a Watchman is, I would say, a companion novel, not a sequel. And I would probably not suggest reading them in quick succession. As Scout discovered, a little distance is needed to cope with the more unpalatable side of Atticus Finch. It is, though, quite nice to discover that he isn’t the paragon Scout thinks him in Mockingbird.

Given all the media attention and spoilers, I hope I don’t upset anyone with the revelation that Atticus was a member of the KKK. Please don’t think too harshly of him: he had his reasons. And Scout’s reaction when she learns of this is just what we might expect of her. She is, in Watchman, still the same old Scout. Older, a little sadder, maybe, but still as tomboyish and impetuous as ever. And still winding Aunt Alex up by not behaving like a Southern lady.

Watchman is not Mockingbird, though, but it’ll be interesting to reread Mockingbird in the light of Watchman’s revelations. It’s interesting to see how Mockingbird evolved, given that Watchman was written first, although the fates of some of the characters was rather upsetting.

As to Scout’s fate, I really hope she resists the hero provided in Watchman and goes off to find Dill: I’ve always thought they’d make a good couple.

7 thoughts on “Go Set a Watchman

  1. I’ve just finished the audio version of Watchman (read by Reese Witherspoon) and agree with your take on it. I can see now why Lee was encouraged to write Mockingbird instead, due to all the stronger flashbacks and various parts worth cutting. Fun to reconnect with favorite characters, though!

  2. What an interesting review. I read Mockingbird ages ago when I was way too young (read naive) to really grasp what the book was all about. This makes me want to go back and give it another go.

  3. Try not to worry too much about taking the blog seriously – your blog is a great read and as long as you’re enjoying writing then that comes across too. It’s easy to feel disheartened when you see blogs that have insanely high readerships in a short space of time – I used to feel very downhearted when I came across one. But then a fellow blogger pointed out to me that quite a few of these sites actually have corporate backing, start-up funding, or paid for advertising. I don’t really want to go down any of those routes, but I know what you mean about trying to have a plan for your blog πŸ™‚ x

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