Friday, July 10, 2015

Beginning ~ with a train ride

Go Set a Watchman ~ by Harper Lee, 2015, fiction (Alabama)
Since Atlanta, she had looked out the dining-car window with a delight almost physical.  Over her breakfast coffee, she watched the last of Georgia’s hills recede and the red earth appear, and with it tin-roofed houses set in the middle of swept yards, and in the yards the inevitable verbena grew, surrounded by whitewashed tires.  She grinned when she saw her first TV antenna atop an unpainted Negro house; as they multiplied, her joy rose.

Jean Louise Finch always made this journey by air, but she decided to go by train from New York to Maycomb Junction on her fifth annual trip home.  For one thing, she had the life scared out of her the last time she was on a plane:  the pilot elected to fly through a tornado.  For another thing, flying home meant her father rising at three in the morning, driving a hundred miles to meet her in Mobile, and doing a full day’s work afterwards:  he was seventy-two now and this was no longer fair.
Lots of people are waiting eagerly for Harper Lee's new novel about Jean Louise Finch, better known to us as Scout.  By clicking on the title above, you can read the first chapter of this book, which won't be published until Tuesday, July 14th.
Originally written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird.  Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014.  This story features many of the characters from her first book, now some twenty years later.  Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch — Scout — struggles with issues both personal and political, involving Atticus, society, and the small Alabama town that shaped her.  It explores how the characters are adjusting to the turbulent events transforming mid-1950s America.

Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays.  Click here for today's Mister Linky.

1 comment:

Barbara Falconer Newhall said...

Well, I couldn't help myself. I wrote a post about "Go Set a Watchman" without actually reading the book. I'm thinking that the book might be as relevant to today's American zeitgeist as "Mockingbird" was to that of 1960. Here are my reasons for thinking that:

Meanwhile, I've started reading the book and am enjoying Lee's lovely syntax. Kinda old-fashioned, which contrasts with protagonist's edgy personality.