Jem was dead.
Harper Lee did not publish after her classic American tale. It was a novel that affected millions and caught the zeitgeist of a nation and a world in transition. It was a novel that our teachers felt needed to be read so, even in the grey climate of sixties’ Northern England, shrouded by soot and smothered by smog, we travelled beyond borders and into different lives.
When I read the reviews of Go Set A Watchman, I was not surprised at how faintly the praise was administered. In their wisdom, knowledge gleaned from the decades that had passed since Lee’s first book was published, these knowing critics were able to damn the first attempt of this wonderful writer. Having bought the book last week, and dipping into it since then, I have been surprised by how much I like it. Mockingbird it is not, but then it is NOT Mockingbird, it is another book altogether.
What I enjoy about this book is its place in the jigsaw that surrounds a novel that defined my opinions and moral compass.
I also enjoyed the fact the author of one of the greatest novels ever written was human. She was capable of producing ‘decent’ stuff.