When Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee was released in July, I knew many who said they would not read the novel. As a much revered and beloved character in literature, their fear was that this new novel might destroy their romantic impression of Atticus Finch. Despite the mixed and polarized reviews, I pressed on to read the novel. I found it to be a step short of powerful, yet forthcoming commentary on desegregation in the south in the 1950s.
Did I enjoy reading the novel? Actually, I read the book and listened to the audiobook, which was skillfully read by actress Reese Witherspoon. And yes, I found the book to be a worthwhile read. Did the novel change my impression of Atticus Finch? Yes, but not in the way you might think. To Kill a Mockingbird left the reader with the impression that Atticus was a person with values to which one should aspire. Go Set a Watchman reminds us that Atticus is human, and sometimes things are not always as they seem.
Regardless of whether Go Set a Watchman is a prequel or a sequel, it was well worth the read to gain my own point of view of one of the most controversial novels of the decade.