Go Set a Watchman Book Reviews

Harper Lee

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee Book Summary

#1 New York Times Bestseller

“Go Set a Watchman is such an important book, perhaps the most important novel on race to come out of the white South in decades."  — New York Times

A landmark novel by Harper Lee, set two decades after her beloved Pulitzer Prize–winning masterpiece, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch—“Scout”—returns home to Maycomb, Alabama from New York City to visit her aging father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise’s homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town, and the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt. Featuring many of the iconic characters from To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman perfectly captures a young woman, and a world, in painful yet necessary transition out of the illusions of the past—a journey that can only be guided by one’s own conscience.

Written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman imparts a fuller, richer understanding and appreciation of the late Harper Lee. Here is an unforgettable novel of wisdom, humanity, passion, humor, and effortless precision—a profoundly affecting work of art that is both wonderfully evocative of another era and relevant to our own times. It not only confirms the enduring brilliance of To Kill a Mockingbird, but also serves as its essential companion, adding depth, context, and new meaning to an American classic.

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Book Name Go Set a Watchman
Genre Literary Fiction
Language English
E-Book Size 1003.7 KB

Go Set a Watchman (Harper Lee) Book Reviews 2024

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Bruh I am cryin. so good. So so good. Just wow . One star deducted because . My heart is broken and I wish Jean Louise was happy.

Go Set A Watchman. Leave it at To Kill a Mockingbird. This was a terrible read.

Great with perspective of Mockingbird. Really enjoyed the Watchmen. Found some of the discussion so very relevant to us today some 50 yrs later. It was enriched by To Kill a Mockingbird which will my favorite for some time, I suspect.

Excruciating. TKAM is one of my favorite books. This? This is in my bottom five. It moves at such a snail's pace for the first two-thirds and then, finally!, picks up a bit of steam. Jean Louise can't be so slow to understand what is going on with her father and uncle, can she? How many pages are really necessary to clue the reader in to her angst? Not nearly as many as Lee uses. I only read the whole thing because it was a Christmas gift and I wanted to say I'd read it all. Ugh! Torture!

I didn’t enjoy this at all. Not on par with the other.

Go Set a Watchman. Did those of you that gave this book 5 stars read the same book I did??? Thought something exciting was going to happen about 100 pages into the book but alas nothing. Now 200 pages into the book and still nothing. Will finish it as it was my book club read, but my other book club friends felt the same way - dull and uneventful.

Go Set a Watchman. Everything which needed to be said has been done in such a tender manner. Thank you Harper

Go set a watchman. Possibly even better than the first. Makes you think and feel and self reflect. Great book by a timeless author.

Disappointment. I was so looking forward to this book and found it bummed me out. It didn't hold a light to 'Mockingbird'.

A Scam at Best and Nothing More Than A Money Grab. Some day the real story will get revealed. This book is not a sequel but a rough draft, a very rough draft, that became To Kill A Mockingbird after a lot of editing and rewrites.

Half a good book. The first half was very good.

Boring. I can see why this was never published before...total waste of time and money.

A publishing house marketing ploy for a disappointing read. This book just isn't that good, if it had been published in the 60's maybe, but the plot, characters and flow of this doesn't work the things it tries to say about race have been said and written by better voices. Nothing new here,avoid it. I guess PT Barnum was right, the publisher did a masterful marketing manipulation, and the popular fiction community, so desperate to go back to Atticus, swallowed it.

Kinda slow. The book is a very slow for my taste. It is a little disappointing.

Horrible. I loved To Kill A Mockingbird, but Go Set A Watchman ruined it for me because of its contradicting way that it talked about Atticus and how he was a very racists man.

Go set a Watchman. The book is excellent especially if you're listening to the audio narrated by Reese Witherspoon long with reading the novel.I hope it's made a movie I hope Reese Witherspoon will play the title role of Jean Luis a.k.a. scout

Go Set a Watchman. Awesome book - ties a lot of things together.

Go Set a Watchman. I think this book should never have seen the light of day. Whoever talked her into releasing this did not have her best interests in mind. This seems to me to be a first draft of something she "might" have published. The style of writing does not come close to To Kill a Mockingbird. The language used is simple rather than complex. Characters were not developed. She comes off as a naïve bumpkin who is against segregation. She does not share the flare or wisdom of Scout. She seems like an empty shell. This should never have been published.

Moving. Great work

Go Set a Watchman. If you love TKAM, don't read this book once; read it twice. The first time I read it, I was influenced by emotions much like those our beloved Scout experiences in this book. The second time I read it, I was able to appreciate it more. It is definitely not as well written as TKAM, but it has much to offer. The witty coffee party scene alone was worth the price I paid. Sadly, one of the truths of this book and life is that we are all, to some degree, bigots. We must set a watchman in our conscience to recognize these failings. Thank you to Ms. Lee for reminding us of that. "The moral arc of the universe is long, but ever bending toward justice." - MLK

Atticus not a racist. The pre-publication reviews of this book played up the notion that Atticus Finch was a racist vs the humanitarian character portrayed in ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’. This was clearly marketing hype that should be discounted. Harper Lee uses this novel to reconcile ‘Scout’s’ personal prejudices about the South gained from living in New York with the realistic views of her father & uncle still living in her home town. Scout comes to the realization that her family’s views reflect her own.

Enjoying this read.... I am about 90% finished with Go Set A Watchman and I have been very much captivated by the story. Like others, I have not been able to put it down. It is witty and insightful. Scout's character, whom we remember from her youth as stubborn and spunky in TKMB, has developed into a questioning, admirable Jean Louis who is most definitely the heroine of GSW. My opinion of Atticus Finch after reading this novel has not changed, but has been enlightened. Thank you, Harper Lee!

Worth the read.... This book was complex & compelling. Harper Lee working her magic with her simple ability to pull you into a world that only a southerner can understand. Our heritage is so much more than a "white privilege" narrative. It is an open ended conversation of our ever evolving beliefs & life circumstances.

Go Set A Watchman. In many ways I identified with Jean Louise and believe Lee Harper did a wonderful job of describing the transition from childhood to adult life.

Comforting, yet an awful message. The writing is impossible not to enjoy. Lee's so good with her words, I loved the process of reading her writing. Now, the message at the end of the Story??? Not cool. Not at all. And there are without a doubt a few chapters that would have otherwise been edited out had an editor felt they could do so (there's a chapter where they attend church, and I cannot figure out why it was in the book) The end of the book (SPOILERS) essentially makes excuses for the horrific racism. Scout's uncle smacks her at one point because of her level of protest to the vehement racism inherent in her boyfriend and father's actions. There is no real resolution. Scout actually looks like the idiotic one in the end for not being racist. And this isn't the intellectually challenging form of dislike--it's an evil message the book concludes with. In summation--I've never enjoyed reading a book I hated so much. That is what you can expect here.

What was that?. Mysteriously discovered second novel? Two words: elder abuse. The novel is incoherent and, often times, boring. Find something else to read.

A product of it’s time. Read it as an unpolished manuscript untouched since it’s writing a long time ago. There are hateful words in here, but in my opinion they are included to show us just how bad things were then. I loved an additional peek into the world of a book that I really enjoyed.

A disappointment. Watchman is very one dimensional...simple plot line and not nearly as well written as Mockingbird. It doesn't sound like Lee's writing style at all to me. I can see it being a very rough draft perhaps, but I'm leaning toward thinking Lee did not write this book.

Very Good Read. I had read To Kill A Mockingbird in HS and never got to read the second sequel. I was very pleased with this book and would definitely read this again. Scout and Atticus have always been my favorites but to read about her uncle and aunts side is really interesting. Overall a great book and I look forward to reading it again.

a daughter's gift. This was such a short and enjoyable read. I wrapped it as a gift for my Jacques as the first thing I did after finishing it.

Waste of time. This book isn't even in the same ballpark as To Kill A Mockingbird. I had such high hopes.

A stand alone, thought provoking piece of work. Not a sequel, but it doesn't need to be. Watchman is good because it poses an interesting concept that is still relevant today. We can shout that people are ignorant and evil, but why do they think the way they think? Everyone has a reason and a mindset, however wrong we may think they are-this doesn't mean they are bad people. Once we get so rigid within ourselves that we will not listen to those who disagree, we are no better than they. This is something that everyone has to face at some point. Growing up in the south myself, I relate to this novel here in the 21st century, as I'm sure many others can as well.

Go Set a Watchman. A book I recommend for everyone. It is exquisitely written.

If Harper lee.... Harper lee did not want this book published so why would we publish it? She did not want this book and I am very disappointed and I do not want to read it no matter how amazing the book is it was not meant to be read so why do we read it?

Go Set a Watchman. This book exceeded my expectations ! Thought provoking !

Go get the Watchman. This is after Scout has grown up now called Jean Louise & moved to New York. She still returns home to visit and is torn between what she believes Atticus is and what she observed one night at a city council meeting. It causes her to re-examine her life, her beliefs, and her relation- ships with Henry, sometimes called Hank who is working with Atticus in the Law office. Does she really love him? Marriage has been proposed. Then there is the death of Jem that still haunts All who knew him. This novel is,set in the late fifties early sixties with all the Civil rights issues becoming difficult for the South to accept. Old habits and traditions are hard to give up. Scout gives vent to her anger at Atticus for even being at the council meeting, there are harsh words spoken to Atticus. While entertaining I admit I much prefer To Kill a Mo king bird.

This is the South. I feel a lot like the adult Jean Louise. WIth her, I watched as the God of Atticus became human. I think it must be hard for a lot of people to realize that their idols are fallible. Harper Lee could not have known when she wrote it that To Kill a Mockingbird's characters would become such literary icons and that we, as a culture, would find in Atticus the perfect parent/mentor/pastor/friend. He was not only her moral compass, but our society's. And it turns out, he was just a man who was a product of his culture and upbringing. I was nervous to read the book. I expected, from everyone's ranting, to find him burning crosses on the front lawn. Instead, we found something much harder: someone we love and admire who hasn't lived up to our ideals. I understand the rant, but I really appreciated the book. The best parents raise their children to think for themselves. To go into the world with a clear sense of what is right and the knowledge that they will always be loved and will always have a home -- even if it's not a home to which the child can ever really return. My family gave this to me. My father was my Atticus, and, I've learned through generations of family and friends, he was theirs as well. And I left home. And I learned how different we are. And I learned, even more, how alike we are. And I learned the he probably wasn't as perfect as I thought. And I learned that the REASON we should love people is for their humanity, because -- as I was raised to believe -- in that humanity is their godliness. I know that as certainly as I know that love. I think it's a good book.

A really honest read.. It will be unfair to compare this to "Mockingbird" so I won't. This is a really good, honest read in and of it self. As someone who grew up with Southern racism in the 70s it rang true.

Good Read. Good, well written book with a very good story. Highly recommend.

Painful, but as beautifully written as the first. It hurt to watch Atticus’s ideas change, but the story has a powerful lesson that we all need to learn in life. Harper Lee has a remarkable talent for making the reader truly feel the characters’ feelings. My heart throbbed with Jean Louise’s as I read. Truly amazing.

Awesome. Trash

Brilliant. It was so nice to hear Harper's voice again as she told the story of the relationship between Jean Louise and Atticus. This book is so worth the read. I loved it immensely. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

Alioh. I'm very ambivalent about this book. In a way, I wish the story ended with To Kill a Mockingbird. Lee has a deep understanding of the South and what makes it tick. She's obviously no lover of the Federal Government and her characters describe why. On this, I think she hit the nail on the head and we all see the unyielding monster the Federal Government has become. She knows when it comes to the subjects of racism and intolerance, there are plenty of gray areas and that even very good people can go a bit off the rails when their way of life is threatened. The South was and is treated by the rest of the country as an ignorant cousin who is imbued with hate and ignorance, which is simply untrue. I've lived in both the South and the North and see just as much racism in the North as in the South. The North is simply better at hiding it. Over all a good read. There are amusing asides about Scout's childhood and the characters of her town and what became of some of them. The book is an insight to those who know little of the South into their way of looking at the world. They aren't any better or worse than the rest of the country. They just feel, and rightfully so, that they are painted with very broad brush and looked upon as backward characters with no moral compass, when in reality they are the same as anyone finding their way in a confusing and changing world.

Another Classic!. This book is great! Seeing Scout grow up and return to Maycomb was a wonderful story about how the world changes despite our efforts to keep them the same.

Dissapointing. I read To Kill A Mockingbird while I was in grade school and loved it. I had high hope for this book and it just failed miserably. This is a terrible sequel, 100% do not recommend reading.

Go Set a Watchman. Watchman is a mediocre story that understandably was never published because it was not deserving. I feel like I was taken in by all of the unabashed hype of a phenomenal public relations campaign that was shaped like a Barnum and Bailey campaign. But when read as a two volume story, it does complete the Finch story full circle. All the shock about Atticus being a bigot was silly. Did people really believe that he was such an dictate for integration? He was a lawyer who believed in the law and justice. This book properly outlines the exact concerns and prejudices of the Deep South in the 1960s. Not surprising at all. I am glad that I read the book. I spent a day with Gregory Peck in the 1970s and I thought he was as remarkably kind, smart and measured with his every word and step. He would have been happy to star in the sequel.

Wow. Just wow.. It's not "To Kill A Mockingbird". I will get that out of the way. It is, however, worth the read 100 times over. It reads a lot like a manuscript but flows much like Mockingbird did. I love the way the characters evolved and it leaves you wanting more; as a good book should.

Should never have been published.. This isn't Harper Lee's second novel; it's just the second to be published. Written before To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman is a disappointing and even disillusioning text badly in need of an editor. If you're upset about Atticus being a racist, take comfort: Harper Lee rewrote this awful book and created a beautiful, timeless masterpiece. Don't buy this. Don't read this. Don't reward the greed of publishers all too happy to steal the memory of a classic in order to make a profit.

Go Set a Watchman. This was very disappointing and boring. I can understand why Harper Lee never published it!

Disappointed. This book had some good moments but it seemed to be the total opposite of To Kill A Mockingbird! I do recommend reading it at least once. Especially since the difference between racism and free speech is more blurred than ever now...

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Certainly no Mockingbird. Atticus Finch may not quite be the new bigot that shocked reviewers have labelled him as. But he certainly become more pragamtic than most readers can accept. Beyond that, and the endless consternation of now-grown Scout about this metamorphisis, this book has little to offer. It will certainly never rival to Kill a Mockingbird for its theme, characters or plot. In fact there is virtually no plot at all. To bad - there will be no sequel to the great performance of Gregory Peck. I'm not sure what any movie sequel would be about.

Amazing. I love this book so captivating and exciting

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Summary of Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

The Go Set a Watchman book written by Harper Lee was published on 14 July 2015, Tuesday in the Literary Fiction category. A total of 2,122 readers of the book gave the book 4 points out of 5.

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