I read this book this summer. Miraculously I got on my library's waiting list early enough that I got the much anticipated email that my turn was up within a week of the release. I take my blessings where I can find them. Needless to say, I immediately dropped whatever other book I was reading and devoured this one.
I'm starting my March blog off with this book review in honor of it's selection as Goodread's Fiction Book of 2015. As an obsessive Goodread user, I voted in all the phases to pick the best books of 2015 in genres that I had even the slightest clue about. I noticed then that Go Set a Watchman was actually a write in nomination on round 1. In other words, Go Set a Watchman was not an option the first go round, but it had enough write ins and votes subsequently that it ended up winning the whole contest! Got to love an underdog.
This novel was a quick read. It has been so long since I've read To Kill a Mockingbird - 15 plus years - that I have a hard time comparing the two.
I enjoyed this novel a great deal, but it does deal with tense racial issues that were definitely prevalent at the time if not arguably something some of us still deal with today. At its heart, it's about growing up. There is a transition that happens in most people's lives when they realize bulldozing through life regardless of other people's actions, opinions, and dreams does not always affect the change or results that you would like. Sometimes a more subtle approach is necessary.
To me, that is what this book boiled down to. This was a lesson that was very timely for me. The bonuses were getting to spy in on beloved characters and see how they're doing. There were also some juicy historical references that really transported me back to the 1950s Alabama which I greatly enjoyed.
Even nearly six months later, I remember a very powerful conversation between Scout and her Uncle about three quarters of the way through the book that knocked my socks off. If you've read it, you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't yet, you'll know it when you see it. Knowing that this book was written fifty years ago just makes the political conversation they have even more poignant.
Scout's Uncle discusses the ramifications of continuing to hand over more power to our federal government. No matter which side of the issue you fall on, give it a read and see if his predictions line up to how things have actually turned out.