Key Stage: KS3/4 (age 13+)
Go Set a Watchman was written before the Pulitzer Prize–winning To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee’s first and only other published novel. Although initially promoted as a sequel by its publisher, it is now accepted as being a first draft of To Kill a Mockingbird with many passages being used again
Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee (2015)
Go Set a Watchman is a very powerful and emotional read. The book is about Jean Louise’s annual homecoming to visit her father and family in Maycomb. It talks about her struggles to adjust to finding out that her role model, her father Atticus Finch has completely different views about race to her. The book touches on two types of inequalities: race and class. The story talks about the sheer divide between different classes. For example, Aunt Alexandra refuses to let Jean Louise marry Henry Clinton because his background is considered ‘trash’. And although it is not as noticeable today, there is still a divide in today’s society. It also touches on the difference between races and how one race will be treated as if they’re better or of a higher status than the other. It is very surprising how the book (which is set in the 1950s) is very relevant in today’s society. Even though this was set in the Civil Rights movement, you still have movements today such as Black Lives Matter that are fighting for equality and farness between different races.
The people I would recommend this book to is people who have read ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ or people who are interested in the Civil Rights movement in America. The age recommendation would be above 13.
I liked the book very much. I was really intrigued by how the book links to modern life nowadays. It was also really interesting to see the way Jean Louise reacted to finding out that her and her father aren’t always going to have the same views, that in fact their views could be completely different to one another. Overall, the book was very good and really did make you ask some deep questions.
Reviewer: Aarian Rexha