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Go Set a Watchman

I’m reading it. I understand many GTers have moral objections to purchasing the book. I evaluated the situation when it became available for pre-order months ago and decided to purchase it. I’m only a little over two (short) chapters in. Anyways, I’m willing to summarize what I’ve read in a far less entertaining fashion than what Pope Alexander has been doing with “Grey”, for those of us who are still really really curious about the book.

So, that said, SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS ahead for “Go Set a Watchman”.

I mean it. Spoilers below!











This book is written in the third person, unlike TKM.

Scout/Jean Louise is living in New York. When the book opens, she’s taking the train to Maycomb to visit for a few weeks. She has a boyfriend, Hank, in Maycomb who is Atticus’ protégé in the law office. Why is Scout’s boyfriend in that position instead of Jem, you ask? Because Jem died suddenly one day, out of the blue. So, there’s the first WTF heartbreak of the book so far. Atticus is 72 and suffering from rheumatoid arthritis - the day Scout arrives in Maycomb, he’s having a flare up so bad he can’t drive. Hank picks her up instead, and there’s a wonderful passage where Scout shows off how stubborn, smart, argumentative, independent, and bad-ass she is when he pressures her to get married.


Scout’s awful snobby aunt Alexandra is living with and keeping house for Atticus now, and is still a snobby stuck-up gossip. She tries to shame Scout for wearing trousers and a sleeveless blouse instead of a dress, implying that the townspeople will think she’s a slut, at which point Scout reminds her that they’d only ever seen her in overalls until she got “The Curse”. Atticus seems quite shocked at Scout’s bold mention of menstruation in his presence. Local gossip and family news is caught up on. Hank excuses himself to go somewhere, but Atticus tells him to wait a bit and he’ll go, too. Atticus then turns to Scout and asks her what the New York newspapers print about the goings-on in the south - the NAACP is mentioned, there’s something about trouble in Mississippi, and some other vague allusions to the early civil rights movements. Where Atticus and Hank are going and what exactly is being printed in the papers is not made specific. Plans for dinner are made and Hank forbids Scout to wear slacks, much to aunt Alexandra’s pleasure.

So far, none of the other “old” characters have been mentioned - Dill, Calpurnia, Boo, Miss Stephanie Crawford, Miss Maudie, Uncle Jack, etc.

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