I’m not really sure if anyone wants to read anything more on Harper Lee’s Go Set A Watchman but I might as well add my two cents worth. I decided to read To Kill A Mockingbird first and then Go Set A Watchman because the first reports seemed to indicate that Watchman was a sequel to Mockingbird. Now, I’m siding with the group that believes that Watchman was a draft of Mockingbird. I think it was heavily edited – it needed it – and the racial tone was changed to match the times. Both books were hard to read. Mockingbird because, while I remember it from both my first read in school and then the Gregory Peck movie, at this reading I found it to be racist in a way that I’d been taught it wasn’t. I haven’t heard anyone else talking about racism in Mockingbird but it is certainly there. Atticus Finch is a nice man. He want to do right but he is first and foremost a white segregationist and even as he defends Tom Robinson he never believes in the equality of the races. Scout is completely unbelievable as the narrator – if she were telling the story from a 16-year-old point of view it would almost make sense but as an 8-year-old, I just don’t buy it. I know this is prize-winning classic but some classics need to be retired and I’m happy to know that our local schools have found other books to use when teaching this period and that Mockingbird is no longer required reading. As for Go Set A Watchman it was hard to read because it was just plain terrible. The writing needed a very good, very strong editor and I think Lee found one and turned this book into To Kill A Mockingbird.
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee – It’s a classic and if you haven’t read it you should so that you can draw your own conclusions. **
Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee – Don’t bother reading this unless you want to join the discussion around the publishing of this book.
A Long Time Gone by Karen White – A going home to find yourself story. It gets a bit long winded in places and starts a bit slow but the relationships are interesting (even though I got a little tired of Vivian’s whining) and it comes to a satisfying conclusion. ****