It’s summer again in that sleepy Alabama town, and while time may have been kind to Scout Finch, her father, Atticus has not fared so well — both in body and in the hearts of readers.
"Go Set a Watchman," while not quite the literary marvel of its predecessor (sequel?), had very large shoes to fill and manages to do so in an admirable fashion. While the writing at points falls flat (though this may be due to my distaste for most uses of stream of conscious) and at some points there are paragraphs that are almost entirely featured in Mockingbird, for the most part the writing serves as an adequate reminder of the artistic poetry of the original.
Furthermore, author Harper Lee manages to achieve something she didn’t pull off in "To Kill a Mockingbird": Watchman is a thinking novel. While Mockingbird provided intense symbolism and thoughtful morality, often times the morals of Scout and Jem’s encounters were spelled out to the reader. While Watchman does suffer from exposition at the end, throughout the book, ultimately, readers are left to decide what each moment means for the book rather than having an authority figure from the novel tell them what they were supposed to learn.
This ties in to Watchman’s most successful part — its plot. Lee manages to navigate the difficulty of having Scout remain the same character with a different level of authority remarkably well. Scout is no longer young, therefore she doesn’t spend this book following others around, but deciding for herself what to do. And even Atticus’s seeming change of heart is well-placed and serves the story well.