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Personal Announcements and Book Review| Go Set a Watchman (SPOILERS)

I know i haven’t posted in a while. I’ve just been doing a bit of thinking and I haven’t been able to write without getting those thoughts out the way. I’d like to announce that, as of this month.I’m a stay-at-home puppy-mom. I have to tell you, Terry is thrilled about it.


I’m figuring things out and I’ll resume working in a month or two. Until then, I will try to make a start on a novel that has been swirling around in my head for a long while. Let’s see if I’m actually brave enough to go through with it this time. I’m considering buying Scrivener. Do you guys think it’s a worthwhile investment? Let me know.

Okay, time for my review of Go Set a Watchman. #owlishreadsGSAW

Everyone knows this by now

To Kill a Mockingbird was a beautiful testimony to idealism and equality. That version of Atitcus inspired thousands of starry-eyed youngsters to become lawyers. That version of Atticus got me through law school. Now that I’ve graduated and gotten through to the “real world” the Atticus teaches me an even more valuable lesson: Grow the fuck up.

GSAW isn’t as well-written as TKAM for sure, but it evoked a lot of emotions.I felt my heart break when I saw that version of Atticus, but it mostly broke for Scout. Speaking of Scout, she’s badass and fabulous and I kind of love her. I did feel my heart sinking when I heard some of the things Atticus was saying, because I hear the same things said by otherwise well-intentioned, respectablle men and women in India till today. It always makes my stomach churn when people say things about one race or class or religion or caste of people being inherently inferior to the other. There’s no way to conclusively prove them wrong except to shake them hard and say “Come on. It’s irrational.”. It moves me to tears of frustration. Yes, Atticus thinks that Black people deserve sympathy but they can’t be given equal rights because they aren’t capable of shouldering equal responsibility. Scout says that Atticus likes justice to be neat and tidy on paper but he never cares about the people. I get that. A lot of people like that actually look down on those social-workers that do field work or that care about people on a micro-scale. The thing, policy changes are essential to alter living conditions but they are also time-consuming and without a grassroots approach, short-term problems -urgent problems- may never get addressed, and the policy changes may not even take if people aren’t sensitised.

Wow. That was a fairly intense tangent.

GSAW is a very tender portrait of a family and of a love story, because even though Atticus has his set views about capitalism and the role of black people, he allows, indeed pushes, Scout (Now Jean Louise of course) to have her own ideologies, which is admirable regardless of my now altered views of him as a person.

More than anything else, this made me realise that people are complex, and to not idolise anyone to an extent where you dehumanise them, and are unable to forgive their mistakes. I’m not talking about my relationship with Atticus, but Scout’s with Atticus. As adults, I think we all need to start seeing our parents and any other heroes or role models as people capable of fucking up, just as much as anybody else. What do you guys think?

This was a complex read. I actually really liked Hank’s character, and I adored the flashbacks. I can see why Harper Lee’s then-editor liked those the best. It made me feel a lot of things I didn’t necessarily enjoy feeling, but that only show how talented Harper Lee is.

I don’t recommend this book to people who have Atticus on a pedestal because this book will topple him over. I mean, it makes sense because TKAM was written through the eyes of a child, and GSAW was written through the eyes of a 26 years old clinging to the magnificence of the past. Like all of us. Scout is all of us. But cooler.

Ok, I don’t want to say more. Read it if you want to.


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Twitter: @sindrao22
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2 thoughts on “Personal Announcements and Book Review| Go Set a Watchman (SPOILERS)

  1. Great review. 🙂 As usual, very well written. What I loved the most about your review, was how you contextualized the novel in reference to the present political tensions of India; something we can all relate to. That’s very fresh take on the novel, which highlights its relevance in the contemporary society.

    All the best for your new role. Waiting for your new novel soon 🙂

    1. Hi Ayush. You’re too nice. I can’t read a book without relating it to what I’ve been experiencing, you know? Anyone for that matter, can never read good literature in isolation from their social context, don’t you agree? 🙂
      in any case, thanks. Let’s hope I actually get a novel written this time.

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