Harper Lee’s ‘Go Set a Watchman’ Book Review


Sasha Callaway '23, Editor-in-Chief of 'The Legend'

When I first picked up ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee in eighth grade, it made me fall in love with REALLY reading. This was the first book that I actually took something meaningful from. Honestly, I think TKAM was vital in making me the person I am today. I must have been living under a rock because I had no idea that Harper Lee wrote a “sequel” to TKAM. GSAW was published after Harper Lee died, and was never edited from its original version (you can tell at times). I think it’s really interesting how Lee actually wrote GSAW before TKAM. Apparently, publishers turned this novel away in favor of what would be TKAM. After reading GSAW, I’m very glad that the publishers made this choice. If GSAW was released pre-TKAM, I don’t think that TKAM would not be nearly as revolutionary as it is/was.

There is a high chance spoilers are below:
While reading this book, I felt really nostalgic for my earlier years. Putting myself right back in Maycomb County was refreshing. During TKAM, I remember how much I idolized Atticus. I really admired how he was able to stand up against society and fight for what he thought was right. But in this book, things took a turn for the worse when Jean Louise (Scout) found out that her father joined the Klan. However, Scout in this book is reminiscent of her father in TKAM. Scout is now the one who is pushing against society, even if it means cutting ties with those she loved. The reader sees Scout find her true moral compass in this book, and she really grows into herself. I think it’s really special that I read TKAM when I was younger, and GSAW now. In some ways, it feels like I grew up with Jean Louise. I see a lot of her in me/the person that I want to become.

Though it was frustrating to see my once favorite characters do something despicable, I loved Scout’s character evolution. TKAM will always have a special place in my heart, and I’m happy that I got to read its extension