Whether you are in middle school, high school or college, Harper Lee’s novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” (1960) is a timeless classic. Utilizing the unique perspective of a young girl not only added to the story, but brought it together as a whole.
The theme of racial injustice and courage made Lee’s novel one of the top selling novels of all time. Now, over 50 years later, the question is why now create a sequel to such a powerful book? The truth is Lee actually wrote her new novel “Go Set a Watchman” before “To Kill a Mockingbird.” This news had literary fans going crazy, especially since Lee once claimed “I will never publish another novel because once you’re at the top you can only go down.”
Her novel “Go Set a Watchman” is expected to be a top seller when it is released on July 14, 2015. This novel is said to have been set aside by Lee’s editor back in the ‘50s when it was written and then lost. It was recently rediscovered by her lawyer in fall 2014 and is expected to be a 304-page novel with no revisions or changes. Around 2 million copies will be published through HarperCollins, Heinemann and Penguin Random House.
Even though she will not be able to go on tours to promote her book due to her health, it is not surprising that it is currently the most talked about novel in the literary world. This novel is a special one because it is essentially a sequel to “To Kill a Mockingbird.” An adult Scout Finch goes to visit her father, Atticus Finch, in Alabama almost 20 years after the events of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Scout will be facing personal and political obstacles throughout the novel as she tries to connect and learn more about her father and, ultimately, the place that she once called home. The novel will also have some of the characters from “To Kill a Mockingbird,” so fans are curious as to who will be featured and if they have changed the characters’ personalities in any way.
Sadly, it is believed that Lee is not fully in control of the release of this novel and that her friends and family are worried about her, especially since the death of her beloved older sister Alice occurred only two months ago. She may not be in the right mindset, or she may just be releasing the novel in honor of her sister, but I believe that this book release is not only a smart career move, but unexpected and exciting. I do worry that people may judge her book more harshly because of how great her first novel was, and in the future this new novel might be a lost memory. It is often hard to do two great things in a row and, in Lee’s case, she waited too long to release it.