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Publisher Description

#1 New York Times Bestseller

“Go Set a Watchman is such an important book, perhaps the most important novel on race to come out of the white South in decades."  — New York Times

A landmark novel by Harper Lee, set two decades after her beloved Pulitzer Prize–winning masterpiece, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch—“Scout”—returns home to Maycomb, Alabama from New York City to visit her aging father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise’s homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town, and the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt. Featuring many of the iconic characters from To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman perfectly captures a young woman, and a world, in painful yet necessary transition out of the illusions of the past—a journey that can only be guided by one’s own conscience.

Written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman imparts a fuller, richer understanding and appreciation of the late Harper Lee. Here is an unforgettable novel of wisdom, humanity, passion, humor, and effortless precision—a profoundly affecting work of art that is both wonderfully evocative of another era and relevant to our own times. It not only confirms the enduring brilliance of To Kill a Mockingbird, but also serves as its essential companion, adding depth, context, and new meaning to an American classic.

Fiction & Literature
July 14

Customer Reviews

JD Fit ,

This is the South

I feel a lot like the adult Jean Louise. WIth her, I watched as the God of Atticus became human. I think it must be hard for a lot of people to realize that their idols are fallible. Harper Lee could not have known when she wrote it that To Kill a Mockingbird's characters would become such literary icons and that we, as a culture, would find in Atticus the perfect parent/mentor/pastor/friend. He was not only her moral compass, but our society's.

And it turns out, he was just a man who was a product of his culture and upbringing. I was nervous to read the book. I expected, from everyone's ranting, to find him burning crosses on the front lawn. Instead, we found something much harder: someone we love and admire who hasn't lived up to our ideals.

I understand the rant, but I really appreciated the book. The best parents raise their children to think for themselves. To go into the world with a clear sense of what is right and the knowledge that they will always be loved and will always have a home -- even if it's not a home to which the child can ever really return.

My family gave this to me. My father was my Atticus, and, I've learned through generations of family and friends, he was theirs as well. And I left home. And I learned how different we are. And I learned, even more, how alike we are. And I learned the he probably wasn't as perfect as I thought. And I learned that the REASON we should love people is for their humanity, because -- as I was raised to believe -- in that humanity is their godliness. I know that as certainly as I know that love.

I think it's a good book.

Robyneggg ,


The Scout of TKAM is sassy and stubborn but naïve and the Jean Louise of Watchman is also sassy, stubborn, naïve but "blind" as portrayed in the novel. Many people have claimed that Watchman is a racist novel that destroys the noble kind Atticus Finch and his character. To those people, I say, shame on you and read the book. Most every six year old Alabama girl looks up to and idolizes her father. I did. Scout did as well. The problem with that logic is that children change and so do their parents. Many residents of Alabama have family members who participated in events and ideologies 50 years or more ago that we aren't proud of. We cannot change the actions of those people. Without going into spoilers Atticus, Jean Louise, and all the other characters in TKAM and Watchman live in a time period and in a place where things were different. They could only react to the changing world around them based on the knowledge they had at hand. It's cruel and wrong for people today to place 21st century values on people that lived in that time who were completely unaware of all the events that came later. Society and culture are so affected by the moment, by technology, by our past and present, and by those we trust, sometimes wrongly. Don't believe or judge all those criticizing the book. Read it for yourself and make up your own mind, as have I.

Atty4u ,

Timeless Issues; Irreverent Culture

She’s all grown up, there no doubt about it. Smoking, drinking and carousing with boys is proof enough of that. But that doesn’t mean she is an adult. Adults cast away idillic shells children once held of others and deal with loss. No one is without faults, but little Scout doesn’t really take that revelation well. Jean Louise has to make that journey to discover her own path, no matter what that takes out of her.

The book is a moving piece that strangely echoes some of the very same issues we know exist today. Even though taking place several decades ago, the struggles are exactly the same. The same race issues minorities still face, and the same issues for women looking to be professionals and have a family too are all percolating today. It seems the old adage rings true: The more things change, the more they stay the same. It seems only some are prepared or agreeable with the speed at which social norms can change. The metaphorical grinding to dirt is really the ideas and essence of whom is being discussed. In the end, it is probably better that some ideas go into the dirt when we end. The people and ideas that remain should further or challenge society to move in the right direction, whatever the right direction ends up being. Reproduce/influence, repeat and so on.

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