August 9, 2015

Go Set A Watchman - a review (spoilers ahead...kinda)

If the truth be told, I have been trying to craft this post for almost FOUR weeks now - I've even re-read the book nearly two more times, in an effort to figure out what I wanted to say and HOW I wanted to say it.  I wanted it to be deep and thoughtful...I wanted to explain what I was feeling on some kind of cosmic level.  With words that would speak to people.  And then I realized, I can only write the way I write and you will either get it or you won't.  So here it is - in all it's un-deepness.  I hope you know what I am trying to say.


As I told you in a previous post, I don't do book reviews for stories that I don't love.  So....

Yes, I loved it.

Did I love the fact that the hero of To Kill A Mockingbird had clay feet?  No.  If the truth be told, it broke my heart.  BUT, as DJan (and here, because she has it together enough to not only have TWO blogs, but posts regularly to both...unlike someone else I know....yes, me) so sagely pointed out in her comment on that post, he was a man of his time.

It hurts to discover that your hero - be he a real person or a beloved character - is human; with failings like any other human.

The story barely touched on the subject of the case that was central to the story in To Kill A Mockingbird - just enough to explain that Atticus Finch was a man of law - the color of a man's skin mattered not - he adhered to the letter of the law and fought for the defendant as needed.

In To Kill A Mockingbird, which is narrated by the adult Scout, the story is told from a child's recollection.  In the beginning of that book Scout was about 6 - the age when most little girls still believe that their father is a hero.  An age when they have not realized that people they love and admire are, sadly, only human and open to all the frailties of character and morality.

Go Set A Watchman, is a look back at how life was - and how far we've come.  It also serves as a reminder that no one is perfect - even if they are only a character in a book - we are all flawed in some way.

Yes, it was supposedly printed "as-is."  A rough draft, if you will.  But even so, the story is compelling; the story rips at your heart as you realize that the ONE hero you thought was above reproach is, after all, only human.  And your heart breaks a bit for Scout to only now (this much later in life than most of us), discover that her father isn't the hero that she'd always thought; but yet even so, he is a good man...a man with flaws.

The story leaves you with the impression that Scout, despite her disappointment, will forever try to make her father see the errors of his thinking.  And if she fails?  She will love him anyway.

If you can set aside the initial distaste of discovering that Atticus Finch is a mere mortal, then I would strongly suggest that you read this book.


  1. Oh, thank you so much for this heartfelt review of the book. I haven't read it yet, but I know that I will, now, because you have written this. It's part of life's journey for me to discover that even though people are not who I thought they were when I was young, now that I am older I am filled with forgiveness and understanding that I didn't have way back when. Sending you love and hugs and... many thanks, Gigi. :-)

  2. Speaking from my own experience, it was quite hard for me to realize my Dad was only human, too. It took me growing up a little to even begin (to try) to understand.