Book Review: Go Set a Watchman

20150826_133410long-awaited fiction by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird is Harper Lee’s first and now-canonical novel and I wanted to love the sequel, Go Set a Watchman, just as much. I got my hands on a copy as soon as I could and planned to devote an entire evening to the event. The evening came, I poured a glass of red wine and tucked into the book. The first chapter was polished and strong and I was delighted to be in the author’s company again. But then, disappointment set in. Gradually the plot became indulgent, superfluous and seemingly aimless. There were pages upon pages of dialogue so slow and boring it made me feel the oppressive southern heat, and I’m pretty sure this wasn’t intentional. By page 100, there was little or no evidence—subtle or otherwise—of rising tension or meaningful plot implications. And that’s where I stopped reading. Sorry to say, but Go Set A Watchman, Lee’s long-awaited second novel, does not warrant all the hype.