Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: Go Set A Watchman
Harper Lee
Series Name: To Kill A Mockingbird
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication Date: July 14th, 2015
Pages: 278 (Paperback)
Publishers: Arrow Books
3 and a half star

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Go Set a Watchman is set during the mid-1950s and features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Scout (Jean Louise Finch) has returned to Maycomb from New York to visit her father Atticus. She is forced to grapple with issues both personal and political as she tries to understand both her father’s attitude toward society, and her own feelings about the place where she was born and spent her childhood.


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I like this book cover, it’s simple and matches the first book in the series. I also like the other cover, It’s the cover in my header image, it is also simple and nice. I also like that it represents this book more than just linking back to To Kill A Mockingbird like the edition I own does.

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I don’t enjoy the writing in this book as much as I did To Kill A Mockingbird. This story was more difficult to understand than the first book as well. I still don’t fully understand the point of this book because I just didn’t understand it. I think it has a lot to do with the POV it was written from. In To Kill A Mockingbird it was written from a young girl POV and it was simple to understand and because she was a child the characters in the book explained things to her in a way that was easy to understand as well. Whereas in this book she is in her late 20s I believe and when characters were explaining things to her I just got lost. Especially in the end when she went to visit Uncle Jack and he was trying to tell her stuff, I just didn’t follow a lot of the time. There is also still that slang, that I simple don’t know the meaning of.

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There wasn’t much of a plot really to this book, she basically just came home, found out things and had an argument. That is all there was to this book and I just feel underwhelmed by it. I get that this book is meant to show personal and political problems and how she deals with it, but because a lot of the time I was confused as to what the other characters were on about, so that portion of the book just wasn’t that clear for me.

I did like the memories that were thrown in from the part in her life that we missed in the 20 years between To Kill a Mockingbird & Go Set A Watchman.

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Honestly all the characters felt the same that came back, which included Atticus, Alexandra & Jean Louise. Uncle Jack was an interesting character, he was one that I didn’t understand half the time though, but he was still interesting. Hank/Henry I felt was kinda thrown in there as he wasn’t mentioned in To Kill A Mockingbird that I remember. It’s probably because I’m used to reading books that only have a couples days, months or a year between the first and second, but this one is 20 years later and alot was missed. And in this one he just kinda appeared and was a big part in Jean Louise’s life, but it just kinda felt fake and pushed.

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I didn’t love this book. It’s that simple. It was mostly because i was confused and if I understood it more then I probably would have been more enjoyable! In my opinion I think that To Kill a Mockingbird should have just stayed as a standalone.

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6 thoughts on “Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee – Spoiler Free Review

  1. I think it’s because – as you said – the first book was told from a young POV and this one was told from an older POV…I remember liking To Kill a Mockingbird but I find a lot of Literary Fiction is dry. It’s harder to get into than YA. I’m definitely skipping this one. 😉

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  2. I don’t consider this to be a sequel but more of a companion to To Kill A Mockingbird. It will never live up to the greatness of the original book and I know when I was reading it, I was always flicking back and forth between some old school history notes to check facts and things.

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