12 Jul

When you read this, Harper Lee’s new novel Go Set A Watchman is only days away from our eyes.

We are blessed, as readers of good literature to have a second glance into the mind and heart of one of the finest authors of our time. It simply doesn’t matter whether we think it is bad or good; no judgment is needed.

This is my opinion of course, but I would hate to see Harper Lee skewered when we may be reading only a good or decent draft. Or we may feast upon another delicacy that has literary legs and a strong backbone. We should not even attempt to compare her newly released novel with To Kill a Mockingbird

I first read the book in high school, then as a college English major. I taught the novel  in ninth and tenth grade English. This novel has always been one of my favorites. Plot, theme, characters, the book has it all. So thought provoking, we dig deep into our social consciousness. There has been such renewed interest lately because of recent current events in our country. The lack of common sense discourse continues to divide us.

This week’s media was filled with the removal of the Confederate flag.

Fifty-one percent of public school children live in poverty, yet it is not supposed to be considered a defining factor in achievement. I agree that we can overcome all obstacles and all children should be equally educated. What I can’t fix is the lack of common decency in how we get along as a united people.

I write stories of hope and belief that all children are gifted learning champions when we know how to reach and teach them. Harper Lee’s new book offers another opportunity to shift the dialogue first among ourselves, then our students. I hope we can share this novel with youngsters as a vista into a positive direction and sincere dialogue.

I know a little more than I’m telling you, but not much. This time, we all need to read the book at the same time as one big Book Club.

If I’m sounding more vague than usual, it’s because I am scared, to tell you the truth. Sequels and prequels are not my favorites. And I especially don’t want to have To Kill A Mockingbird, its storyline or characters messed up in any way. I don’t want it tainted.

My copy is reserved. Picking it up tomorrow.

I looked at the reviews on Google and will insert links for you, but after a few glances I decided not to read the first chapter I found on Twitter, or any of the reviews. Why?

Because it simply doesn’t matter. When a great literary figure of our time releases work, it doesn’t matter to me whether it’s good or not. It does not diminish the passion, the commitment, the story itself, her style, whether it should have been written at all or kept on the shelf.

To Kill A Mockingbird stands on its own as a classic in American literature. Its powerful gripping characters, storyline, setting, plot are as important today as the day it was written. The movie starring Gregory Peck is etched into my mind.

Harper Lee may have missed the final edits, just as I am “bleeding at the typewriter”, (Hemingway) to get this post out on time to you. Thank you for reading my blog, putting our passion to the test by giving Harper Lee the benefit of the doubt on this book.

As readers we waited a long time for second novels of other great American authors. I know a few are already popping into your head. I think it was quite brave of her to let this one go, or whoever decided. It simply doesn’t matter.

Leaving footprints on your reading hearts,




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.