Harper Lee is an American writer who became famous for her 1960 novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Most of you, I would hope, have at least seen the magnificent film adaptation from 1962. Then things get tricky. Harper hasn’t written a book since. All of a sudden, a manuscript is found in 2014 called Go Set a Watchman, which was allegedly the original draft of To Kill a Mockingbird, although covering a bit larger series of events. Harper Lee submitted it to the publishers before the better known original. And now Go Set a Watchman has been published as a sequel. Why wait 50+ years to publish it? It’s somewhat of a mystery, but let’s leave that aside, and see whether this book has something to offer.
The story is set 20 years after the original novel, and it deals with 26-year-old Jean Louise Finch, better known as “Scout” coming home to Maycomb, Alabama from New York to visit her father Atticus. But there are things she is about to find out, some disturbing things about her family and her hometown. Values she grew up with might not be so clear now. The plot is set against the backdrop of civil rights tensions and political turmoil in 1950s American South.
The book gives us another layer over our favorite characters, adding depth and context. It reminds us of another era, and it might still be relevant to our time. The title is taken from the Bible, specifically from Isaiah: 21:6.
Get it from Amazon here.