July 19, 2015

Watertown, MA. July, 2015

When I taught high school for seven years back in the 1970s, To Kill a Mockingbird was always required reading. Consequently I've read it and taught it many, many times. I also remember reading it as a grammar school student when it first came out in paperback. (A friend had loaned it to my mother, who had passed it on to me.) I've read it for pleasure several times since and loved Sissy Spacek's masterful reading of it as an audiobook. So I was somewhat apprehensive when I learned that Harper Lee (or her caregivers) decided to publish its sequel, Go Set a Watchman, written before Mockingbird but set some 20 years after the events in that classic novel of racial inequality in a small Southern town. I've now read it, and here's what I have to say. It provoked the same fine feeling in me that The Godfather, Part III did when I first saw it: It didn't live up to its predecessor, but it was wonderfully thrilling to be reunited with characters I loved and to learn what they'd been up to.

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