Hello and welcome to the last week of our Online Book Club discussion of Go Set a Watchman. If you’re just joining us, make sure to go back and read the other three discussions, so you can be up to date. So far, we’ve talked about the controversy surrounding the publication of the book, and we’ve talked about the major characters.
Obviously, the biggest part of the end of this book was Jean Louise’s confrontation with her father and her realization that she must make her own opinions about things and not only believe what her father believes. I understand that Jean Louise had to go through a crisis to really examine herself and find out what she truly believes in. But, I had a really hard time completely understanding the scene that came after the big fight—the scene where Uncle Jack slaps her in the face. The slap was meant to stop her for a second, I’m sure, but I just thought the whole thing was very odd. Jean Louise was so angry and so out of control, and then she was just fine. I had a hard time believing that she was able to completely process everything in a split second.
I’m glad that the book ended with Jean Louise and Atticus making peace with each other, but I just felt like the ending wasn’t satisfying. I don’t know what I was expecting or wanting from the ending, but whatever it was, I didn’t get it.
Did you all watch the Harper Lee documentary? I really enjoyed hearing all about Harper Lee’s life, and I really liked seeing how To Kill a Mockingbird evolved as she edited. I ended up watching the special bonus feature where the filmmaker visited Harper Lee and watched Lee’s reaction to the publication of Go Set a Watchman. I felt so uneasy throughout the entire bonus scene. It seemed like Harper Lee was excited to see the book, but I just feel like there’s more to the story of this book’s publication than meets the eye. Something about Harper Lee’s lawyer made me really uncomfortable.
So, we made it through Go Set a Watchman. What did you think? Was in an enjoyable read?
Please let me know your impressions of the book and the documentary. And, if you’ve read any interesting articles about Harper Lee or the publication of this book, make sure to link to them in the comments so I can read more.
I hope you’ll all join me next month as we read The Butler: A Witness to History.