Well, first off, I want to say I really enjoyed reading Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
By now we all know about the controversy surrounding the release of this thing. Myself, I’m grateful it has finally been issued.
Before you read my opinions any further, I invite you to read Ursula K. LeGuin’s review of this book on her blog.
Still with me? Ursula K. LeGuin is pretty much the only reviewer who felt the same way I did about the book.
It was a brilliant first effort, but rather than help her polish it, Harper Lee’s New York editor chose to have her concentrate on Scout’s early life and write a fairy tale as seen through a child’s eyes about a father who could do no wrong in the context of a fundamentally unjust society.
I’m afraid Harper Lee’s New York editor missed some of the nuances of the story she was trying to tell.
TKAM was a brilliant novel, no question, but the earlier draft could have been reworked into a challenging and brilliant sequel. My take, and Ursula K LeGuin’s, is that it’s a pity that never happened. But Harper Lee’s New York editor was apparently uncomfortable with the idea.
So HL never published another book. The woman who once aspired to be “the Jane Austen of Alabama” either silenced herself or was silenced by her yankee editor.
There is supposedly a third Harper Lee novel extant, which may eventually see the light of day…