In Go Set a Watchman, we return along with Jean Louise “Scout” Finch to Maycomb, Alabama. But we, like Scout, discover all is not as we left it when we last were there.
Time has changed Maycomb, and Scout isn’t so sure she likes what she finds. The reader, too, will be challenged by the change and forced to wrestle with uncomfortable realities. To Kill A Mockingbird has become our culture’s parable of the evils of systemic racism and the honor, nobility, and goodness of one man’s quixotic stand against that system in the name of justice. But can we and can Scout still love the man who steps out of that parable and into our real, flawed, and broken world?
A heavy, heartbreaking, and raw read that asks us to take a look at ourselves and honestly assess what we see.
4 stars out of 5.
Here are five quotes to give you a taste of Scout’s return to Maycomb.
1. Scout wrestles with doubt
…How can they devoutly believe everything they hear in church and then say the things they do and listen to the things they hear without throwing up? I thought I was a Christian but I’m not. I’m something else and I don’t know what (167).
2. Blindness as a major theme for Scout.
Blind, that’s what I am. I never opened my eyes. I never thought to look into people’s hearts, I looked only in their faces (181).
3. Scout’s esoteric uncle on the perils of big government.
The only thing I’m afraid of about this country is that its government will someday become so monstrous that the smallest person in it will be trampled underfoot, and then it wouldn’t be worth living in (198).
4. Atticus and Jean Louise at odds.
JL: Don’t you give me any more double-talk! You’re a nice, sweet, old gentleman, and I’ll never believe a word you say to me again. I despise you and everything you stand for.
A: Well, I love you (253).
5. A man’s conscience is his watchman.
Every man’s island, Jean Louise, every man’s watchman, is his conscience (264-5).