Matthew's Reviews > Go Set a Watchman

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
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really liked it
bookshelves: library, general-fiction, 2015

Contrary to popular opinion, I enjoyed this book quite a bit. I think what made this book tough for people is that it is the sequel to a classic that we have had over 50 years to appreciate. Over 50 years to get used to. Over 50 years to fall in love with.

I think most of us picture Atticus as Gregory Peck defending his neighborhood from rabid dogs, defending the oppressed, and being the patriarch of a single parent household. When that truth becomes so ingrained in us, it is hard for us to accept something different, but that is exactly what Go Set A Watchman does.

While To Kill A Mockingbird was about looking at the injustices of the world through innocent eyes, Watchman is about growing up, realizing the truth, and trying to accept difficult realities. For some readers, accepting the world of Atticus and Scout as anything less than perfect is difficult, but I like that Harper Lee took the risk.

I think that if these books had come out a couple of years apart, there would be less complaining about new revelations. Readers would not have had a chance to settle in. New storylines likely would have been accepted as canon instead of unusual deviations.

I recommend that fans of Mockingbird give this a try, just be prepared for a different kind of Maycomb.
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Reading Progress

February 3, 2015 – Shelved
February 3, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
September 2, 2015 – Started Reading
September 2, 2015 – Shelved as: library
September 2, 2015 – Shelved as: general-fiction
September 2, 2015 –
page 39
14.03% "I'm trying to approach this with an open mind, but there are a couple of developments I don't care for already!"
September 3, 2015 –
page 49
17.63% "I may be wrong, but I am pretty sure two or three of the pages in this last chapter were word for word from To Kill a Mockingbird."
September 4, 2015 –
page 59
21.22% "Ah, finally some Dill"
September 6, 2015 –
page 162
58.27% "The story has picked up quite a bit. I wish I didn't have a preconceived notion about this book. Better than I expected."
September 7, 2015 –
page 202
72.66% "Scout is learning some harsh truths about the South in the mid 1900's"
September 8, 2015 –
page 215
77.34%
September 9, 2015 –
page 226
81.29% "Ha! Falsies were unexpected"
September 10, 2015 –
page 249
89.57%
September 11, 2015 – Finished Reading
September 29, 2015 – Shelved as: 2015

Comments Showing 1-14 of 14 (14 new)

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message 2: by Kristi (new) - added it

Kristi Krumnow I really liked this one despite the freak out about Atticus. No-one expects that he's a racist... which is exactly what is genius on the part of the author.


Naddy I have liked it more than to kill a mocking bird


Matthew Kristi wrote: "I really liked this one despite the freak out about Atticus. No-one expects that he's a racist... which is exactly what is genius on the part of the author."

Sorry! Just noticed these comments on my review!

I agree - I liked this twist. I think it made the book much better. The gritty reality that our heroes are not always perfect,


Matthew Naddy wrote: "I have liked it more than to kill a mocking bird"

That is the first I have heard someone say that! :)


Henry Excellent review Matthew. I am just getting around to finally reading this book and you have expressed my sentiments exactly. Suggestions by some that if you loved “To Kill a Mockingbird” you should not read this book are silly. Closing one’s mind to a different perspective, whether it be in literature or life, is never a good idea. Read and be free.


Matthew Henry wrote: "Excellent review Matthew. I am just getting around to finally reading this book and you have expressed my sentiments exactly. Suggestions by some that if you loved “To Kill a Mockingbird” you shoul..."

Thank you, Henry! And thank you for sharing your thoughts, too!


Lorna Matthew, a beautiful review of a book that has sparked so much controversy. I loved this book and thought it was the perfect companion to “To Kill a Mockingbird.” It is important to read this book within the historical context of the time. Thank you.


Matthew Lorna wrote: "Matthew, a beautiful review of a book that has sparked so much controversy. I loved this book and thought it was the perfect companion to “To Kill a Mockingbird.” It is important to read this book ..."

Thank you and you're welcome, Lorna! Glad you liked it, too!


message 10: by Nicola (new)

Nicola Excellent review Matthew ! :)


message 11: by Eileen (new) - added it

Eileen Thanks for the review. I just finished my reread of TKAM and think I will add this book in the near future. I will keep in mind that she wrote this book a long time ago, but never published it. Keeping this in perspective and what was happening in this country around that time will certainly add to this book, I think. I'm looking forward to reading it.


Matthew Nicola wrote: "Excellent review Matthew ! :)"

Thank you, Nicola! (Sorry I didn't see this post until now!)😁


Matthew Eileen wrote: "Thanks for the review. I just finished my reread of TKAM and think I will add this book in the near future. I will keep in mind that she wrote this book a long time ago, but never published it. Kee..."

No problem, Eileen! I hope you enjoy - I look forward to seeing you what you think!


message 14: by Eileen (new) - added it

Eileen Matthew wrote: "No problem, Eileen! I hope you enjoy - I look forward to seeing you what you think! "

I'll let you know!


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