Thoughts on GO SET A WATCHMAN

Photo Credit: Bruna Ferrara on Flickr

Last week, it was announced that Harper Lee, author of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, will be publishing another book. This is huge news. Lee, now 88, has not published anything since MOCKINGBIRD in 1960. After winning a Pulitzer Prize for her debut novel, Lee pulled a Boo Radley and went into seclusion.

Before MOCKINGBIRD, though, there was GO SET A WATCHMAN. This book takes place after the events of MOCKINGBIRD, even though it was written earlier. In this sequel, Scout is all grown up and heading home to visit her father, Atticus. The novel is set to be released this summer. Five months before the book hits shelves, it’s already at the top of Amazon’s bestseller list.

A few people wanted to know how I felt about this news. At first, I was elated. Having read MOCKINGBIRD and loved it, I wanted to read more. I wanted more Scout and Atticus and even Boo. I couldn’t wait to get the sequel.

But then came fears that Lee had been pressured into publishing. Lee’s attorney, her sister Alice, recently passed away. Alice was fiercely protective of her sister’s privacy—would she have allowed WATCHMAN to be published if she were alive? A close friend of Lee’s expressed concerns that Lee was being exploited. After all, she is reportedly deaf and mostly blind.

Another friend of Lee's said she was fine the day before the release was announced. More importantly, Lee herself says she's excited about her new novel. In a statement released on February 5, she said, "I'm alive and kicking and happy as hell with the reactions to WATCHMAN."

If Lee herself is happy, I think I'll be happy, too. If it comes out that she really didn't want WATCHMAN published, then maybe I'll rethink things. Right now, like many of you, I have mixed emotions.

How do you feel about GO SET A WATCHMAN?

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Writer @brianawrites has mixed feelings about Harper Lee's MOCKINGBIRD sequel. (Click to tweet)