Well, I finally did it; I purchased a copy of Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman. I have put this off until now because I could hardly stomach the thought of the tampering, even the tiniest bit, with the beloved characters of To Kill a Mockingbird, a long-time favorite of mine.
I teach Mockingbird in the 8th grade, and each year when I open to that first page and dive in, it is like I am reading it for the first time. I find nuances and meaning and heart that I somehow missed during the first several readings. It is that kind of book – the kind that makes you feel like you are sitting at the feet of a trusted sage who knows the ins and outs of the world and will let you in on its secrets.
I admire Atticus Finch to the nth degree. He is one of my favorite literary characters. I often wonder how Atticus would handle certain situations when I find myself in a fix that would be best handled if one would look at it from the front porch of that other person. He is my literary go-to man.
I normally stay away from remakes and Part II, III, etc. I find that, for the most part, I have been bitterly disappointed. The exception to this rule is the movie remake of A Christmas Carol. I own the book and several movie versions of this classic, and my favorite adaptation is the 1981 version starring George C. Scott as Ebenezer Scrooge. Brilliant.
But I am going to give this a whirl. How could I not, after reveling in a game-changing novel brimming with wisdom and heart like Mockingbird? So, I am going to set aside my doubts and fears and reenter Maycomb, Alabama, tonight. I will let you know if I want to set up residence there or if I will run out screaming in the streets. People, I’m going in.