If you love Harper Lee, don’t read ‘Go Set a Watchman’

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If Harper Lee wanted to destroy everything good she did in To Kill a Mockingbird, I’d say Go Set a Watchman was a massive success. But I’m afraid it may be an even greater tragedy than an author self-destructing.

I wish I could un-read this novel, and it’s not because it was a terrible sequel, it’s because it caused me to doubt every character that was great in one of the best novels of all time.

Had Go Set a Watchman been a genuine sequel I could have dismissed it, but it allegedly wasn’t. Apparently it was Harper Lee’s first novel. After being rejected by publishers, Lee went away to write the prequel, To Kill a Mockingbird. In doing so she created one of the most heroic, moral characters ever written.

Go Set a Watchman gives us an insight into the ‘original’ Atticus, and he turns out to be a disappointing shadow of the man we thought we knew. Reading through Scout’s eyes, once again, we find ourselves wondering whether, like her, we had seen Atticus incorrectly all along.

There is only one way in which Lee is redeemed in my eyes and therein lies an even greater tragedy. She never wanted this book published.

Harper Lee, the unassuming, silent, reclusive, now elderly author, has possibly been manipulated and betrayed by money-hungry publishers.

As one writer put it, tragically “Our Boo Radley [has been] dragged into the light.”

Don’t read this book.

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My Top 5 Most Life-Changing Books

mXHFQp41vWKpWIHQkZbZbGw#5 – The Naughtiest Girl in the School – Enid Blyton

I received this book as a gift from when I was in primary school. I instantly judged it by its cover. What a boring gift. I don’t know what circumstances led me to finally open its pages, but it was the point of no return for me. This was the book that made me fall in love with reading.

To_Kill_a_Mockingbird#4 – To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

I’ve read this book at least six times, and every time I find something new in it. To me, this is the perfect novel. The first time I read it, as part of my high school’s year 11 curriculum, I didn’t love it, but since then it has become a big part of my love affair with teaching English.

knowledge_of_the_holy_tozer#3 – The Knowledge of the Holy – A.W. Tozer

This book was first lent to me about five years ago by a faithful, elderly man in our church, who has since passed away. It has not only taught me profound truths about my God, but was a sustaining rock and beacon of hope during one of the most traumatic times of my life.

stepping-heavenward#2 – Stepping Heavenward – Elizabeth Prentiss

A girlfriend told me that this is a book that every young, Christian woman should read. She was right. This book gave me a godly example of a woman who walked daily with her savior, and it changed my perspective on suffering.

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mpIV6hqxzOkf3MbQk9LnTzw#1 – The Holy Bible

The living Word of God and source of all truth; this book has changed my life forever, and continues to do so. Its depths are unfathomable, its mysteries remarkable and its message unstoppable.

Which books have changed your life?