Go Set a Watchman
Harper Lee

Book cover image

Narrated By: Reese Witherspoon

Duration: 6 hours and 57 minutes

What to expect

Go Set a Watchman is set during the mid-1950s and features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Scout (Jean Louise Finch) has returned to Maycomb from New York to visit her father Atticus. She is forced to grapple with issues both personal and political as she tries to understand both her father’s attitude toward society, and her own feelings about the place where she was born and spent her childhood. An instant classic.

Genre

Modern & contemporary fiction, Classic fiction, Narrative theme: Coming of age, Narrative theme: Social issues, Family life fiction

Listen to a sample

A new work, and a pleasure, revelation and genuine literary event…Go Set a Watchman shakes the settled view of both an author and her novel…This publication intensifies the regret that Harper Lee published so little.

Guardian

Go Set a Watchman is the more radical, ambitious and politicised of the two novels Lee has now published…It has contemporary relevance where Mockingbird is safely sealed off as a piece of American history…It does not undermine Mockingbird but it makes a reassessment of that story absolutely necessary…It is a book of enormous literary interest…Beguiling and distinctive, and reminiscent of MockingbirdGo Set a Watchman can’t be dismissed as literary scraps from Lee’s’ imagination. It has too much integrity for that.

Independent

More edgy and thought provoking [than To Kill a Mockingbird] … It has a power to it beyond being a mere historical curio or more lit crit material for Harper Lee studies… Eccentric characters are brightly drawn. There is Lee’s trademark warmth, some droll lines and the sense of place and time is strong…[It has] a surprisingly provocative message — don’t airily dismiss the prejudices of others, try to understand them.

The Times

I’m happy to report that most of the caveats and conspiracy theories surrounding Go Set a Watchman melt away as you read the opening chapters and reacquaint yourself with that beguiling Harper Lee narrative style — warm, sardonic, amused by male folly and social pretension, wryly funny, a sassy Southern voice, Mark Twain with a dash of Katharine Hepburn.

Sunday Times

The flashes of lyrical genius and ability to evoke the intensity of childhood play that come to fruition in To Kill a Mockingbird are in evidence…It’s nowhere near the novel Mockingbird is. It is much better than that…What Watchman tells us, and tells us rather powerfully, is that racism is not confined to people who are so clearly not like us…Watchman is for grown-ups. It asks serious questions about what racism is. And it comes at a time when American desperately needs a grown-up conversation about race.