Hello, and welcome to the first discussion of Harper Lee’s book, Go Set a Watchman. If you haven’t joined us before, the Online Book Club is a book discussion that takes place entirely online. I write a new blog post each week, and will talk about different aspects of the book with each entry. You can read along and leave your comments in the comments section of the blog post. Feel free to read and comment at your own pace.
If you’re interested in participating in our discussion but are unable to read the book, feel free to watch the Harper Lee documentary on DVD or our digital service, Hoopla. I’ll be posting thoughts about that as well, so feel free to chime in with your opinions about the documentary!
Go Set a Watchman is a previously unpublished first draft of Harper Lee’s beloved classic, To Kill a Mockingbird. This book chronicles a couple of days in the life of twenty-six year old Jean Louise (Scout) Finch. Jean Louise returns home to Maycomb, Alabama, and faces a crisis of identity when she realizes that she and her father have a fundamental difference of opinion about civil rights.
The publication of this book was mired in controversy, but we’ll talk about that more fully in the next blog post.
I encourage you to read this book not as a sequel to To Kill a Mockinbird, but as a first draft of a novel that would eventually morph into To Kill a Mockingbird. Brilliant Books, an independent bookstore in Traverse City Michigan, has a great short opinion piece about how to read the novel if you’re interested.
I hope to hear from you all next week! Start reading the book, and we’ll discuss how this book came to be in the next blog entry.
And here is a short clip from the documentary, Harper Lee: From Mockingbird to Watchman, that you can find on our Hoopla digital streaming service. I strongly encourage you to watch the documentary. It’s really, really interesting!