Go Set a Watchman | Review

(Not so) quick ramble (you've been forewarned):

Last night I finished reading Harper Lee's second novel, Go Set a Watchman.
In high school To Kill a Mockingbird was my favorite book, so I was excited and very nervous when hearing about this new addition to the lives of the Finches. This was especially so after more information surfaced concerning how/why it was getting published and Atticus's character. I wanted to read it, but I wasn't sure if I should. I didn't want to taint the love I had for the first novel if everything about Go Set a Watchman was true.
There were many a bad review, maybe even more than there were good reviews, but I read it anyway.
And you know what? I don't regret it. 
I don't think it took anything away from the Finches. It made them human and relatable. Atticus is no longer this God-like, mistake free character, but a real human, in readers' and Scout's eyes.

To Kill a Mockingbird taught us about tolerance, acceptance, and justice.
Go Set a Watchman taught us even more about acceptance, that no one is perfect, and how to think for ourselves.
I appreciate that Atticus has flaws now; he's a real man now.
While I don't 100% agree with or understand Atticus (but who really understands men?) I don't think it's a tragedy or a disgrace for him to not be agreeable for once. He was always so perfect that maybe he was too perfect and that's why everyone loved him; he wasn't real.

You may not understand what I mean without reading the novel (or even after you've read it), but that's okay. I've read a lot of other reviews (by far more prestigious people than me) that haven't agreed with me and I assume they've read the novel as well. 

I will say though that the one thing I can't look past in the bad reviews is that they expect it to be better if you read it out of the context of To Kill a Mockingbird. I agree about 0% with this. For a second let's disregard the actual order that the manuscripts were written in (opposite of the order they were published). They are meant to tied together. They have the same characters and there are flashbacks to the first novel; it's impossible to not compare them. I think the hard part is just accepting that there are character flaws now, not that one story is inferior or things don't line up. 
It's also possible that I appreciate this story because I relate to Scout so much in Go Set a Watchman. We are in very similar places in life: our pasts and presents don't go together very nicely and they're difficult to reconcile. Maybe that's where my appreciation comes from.

Anyway, more of the ramble is this:
If we give this novel a chance, it could be just as great.
So... give it a read (with an open mind)?

- Jess

P.S. Bravo if you got to the end. I applaud you. & I apologize for my ramble. 

Petite spoiler:
& RIP Jem :'(


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