Book Review: Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee is a thought provoking portrait of a time that is important to remember because the events it portrays underscore longstanding but not always easily recognized influences on American Ideology. Jean Louise, aka "Scout" Finch has come back to Maycomb Alabama to visit her father Atticus, her former best friend/beau Henry and other citizens of the town. Initially content with poignant reminisces of her childhood with Henry about times shared with her deceased brother Jem, she begins to see a culture that has not changed since the jury trial in which her father, Atticus served as the defense attorney decades ago. Disappointed with what she believes is Atticus's betrayal of his values at a council hall meeting and after a searing argument with him she is catapulted into adulthood by her wise uncle. Uncle Jack assists Jean Louise in setting her own interior "watchman" or conscience. This book starts out slowly but builds to a powerful conclusion from Part VII onward. Part VII exquisitely portrays Scout's difficult coming of age during a time when right and wrong blur with the passage of years. A book for our times, the fact that it was published now is very important. It is worth exploration by readers who look for ways to face truths that can be obscurred by what seems to be virtue during dark times.
Review by Karen