I’m excited there is so much conversation happening lately regarding literature. When Go Set a Watchman finally released the other day, my social feed went nuts. In fact, just in the last two days, I’ve had at least three separate conversations about the novel. I love books and I love reading, so these are glorious moments for me. I don’t remember this much anticipation and excitement about a book since the last Harry Potter installment.
I’ve also noticed some professional literary critics already claiming the book is not great, and there seems to be some disappointment among people about these negative reviews.
But honestly, did anyone expect the book to be great? Now, please do keep in mind I haven’t yet read the book, but the book’s promotion clearly communicated that this novel is essentially comprised of those parts of To Kill a Mockingbird that didn’t make the final cut.
We probably shouldn’t expect too much from Go Set a Watchman due to this fact. Instead, I think we should be celebrating the author herself. I don’t believe any of us thought Harper Lee would ever release another book, so this moment is a grand one due to that fact alone. Why is Lee now deciding to publish Go Set a Watchman when she hasn’t published anything (by name) in several decades? Was it actually lost to time as they claim? Honestly … who cares? Harper Lee is aging, and I personally believe we should simply be happy to have one more work from this author – an author for whom virtually every American student is familiar. We will have a blast comparing and contrasting her two novels, written together but published lifetimes apart. How cool is that? I’m so happy Lee decided to share one more work with us.
Will I read Go Set a Watchman? Of course! But not for a few months. I want the hype to die down. I want the critics to have their say and then move on to something else. I want to pick up the book and read it for what it is – the work of a very young author released very late in life.