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Go Set a Watchman – a Digested Read by John Crace

Some light reading for Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee

The unwanted, unloved elder sibling of To Kill A Mockingbird

It was an elegantly written first sentence worthy of the most earnest unpublished first novel. Jean Louise settled back into a sophisticated New York silence, breathing in the fragrance of the heavy southern air as the train reached Maycomb.

“Please can we just sit down and talk about how you defended the Negro Tom Robinson 20 years ago, Atticus,” she said. “It’s not ringing any bells.” Only the singing of a few startled finches broke the heavily pregnant silence.

The next morning a desperate Negro came running to the door. “My son has run over and killed a white man. Please help.”


Jean Louise’s heart filled with joy. Atticus was a good man after all!

“Thing is, Scout,” Atticus said later. “It’s far better for me to come along and take the case than leave it to some civil rights lawyer. Them lawyers are causin’ a whole heap of trouble round here.”

“If you won’t defend a Negro properly then come to the aid of an 89-year-old lady who has had a stroke and is almost totally deaf and blind. Poor Miss Nelle was determined not to let anyone read another word she’d written and now her lawyer and publishers have decided to cash in on a piss-poor, first-draft manuscript.”

Atticus yawned. His rheumatoid arthritis was tiring him out. “It’s not one for me, Scout. I hate geriatrics even more than I hate Negros. Now, if you don’t mind, I’ve got a Klu Klux Klan meeting to go to.” Racialism was more difficult than Jean Louise had initially thought.


From : Best summer reads digested on The Guardian website

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