“Go Set a Watchman” is a second novel released after “To kill a Mockingbird”. “Go Set a Watchman” was written by Harper Lee in the mid-1950s and was only published in 2015, six decades later.
Set in Maycom County, Alabama, the Southern part of America where there were tensions between the white Americans and the Negro race. The novel centres on 26-year old Jean Louise Finch, the daughter of Atticus Finch, the lawyer in “To kill a Mockingbird”. The characters in the first novel continued into the second novel.
As I read “Go Set a Watchman” (without recalling much of the first novel), the starting was a bit heavy going. So many characters appeared without much of background information. The story toggled between past and present when it was being narrated. (Readers may want to read “To kill a Mockingbird” first for a better understanding of these characters.)
It was only when I persevered and past the half-way mark of the book, that I began to enjoy the stories of the growing up years of Jean Louise. The ending was even better and I see why Harper Lee won the Pulitzer Prize for “To kill a Mockingbird”. It was satisfying how the author turned around a conflicted state of mind of Jean Louise to one of understanding why her father did what he did.
I applaud the ease of the author writing about human emotions and convictions; writing about the challenges of racial conflicts and balancing acts that were as relevant today as they were in the 1950s.