by Harper Lee
★★★★☆ (4 / 5 stars)
Most people say this is not a sequel, and many media articles said the same thing, too. However, in reading this, it felt a little like a sequel, as Scout was older, and there were slight references to events that happened in To Kill a Mockingbird with Atticus’s trial. Conversely, I can see how Ms. Lee could have gotten the inspiration to write TKAM after she wrote Watchman. There was a certain fluidity to the timeline that made it feel like a complete story.
I really enjoyed Scout’s character. She was a woman in the 50s who stood up for what she believed in, despite the negativity all around her. She visits her old hometown of Maycomb from New York, and discovers things are a lot different than when she was last here. The people seem different, as some of the things going on that she doesn’t agree with. I, too, didn’t agree with some of the business going on, and I felt rightfully on Scout’s side to hold her ground. A lot of the issues presented made you think really hard about its deeper meaning.
There was an issue that I’ve seen readers comment about Atticus being a member of the Klan. After reading this, I can honestly say that I didn’t think Atticus was a part of that. There was a person there at the big meeting scene in courthouse who sounded like someone from the Klan, and I believe Atticus was there to keep an eye on things as a neutral party, not exactly taking sides of the issue. I did question his actions on certain views when he and Scout were talking, which seemed to contradict some of the events that happened in TKAM.
This book was written way ahead of its time. A lot of the controversial issues that are mentioned in this book are (still) going on now. Some of the way the issues were handled (like race) I did not agree with, but could only assume that was how the mindset was back then (and most likely still handled today).
There were some moments in this book that I had to laugh out loud, especially in the beginning of the book when Scout is reminiscing on her childhood while she’s at church, and some of the antics she and Jem used to get into. It was funny because I could totally relate to that, too!
While the writing itself wasn’t completely up to par, the book was still enjoyable overall. I would recommend everyone check it out, but be aware that it covers some tough/controversial issues.