When I was in 8th grade, my English class read To Kill a Mockingbird. We even wrote a class letter to its author, Harper Lee, who was gracious enough to send us a heartfelt (but probably generic) reply. Almost a decade after I first enjoyed the classic, and a whopping 55 years since its original publication, I (along with millions of other eager readers) am anxiously awaiting the release (four more days!) of Lee's second published book, Go Set a Watchman.
While actually written in the 1950s before To Kill a Mockingbird's release, Go Set a Watchmen is the story of the main character, Scout Finch, 20 years after the events of the first book.
'"It’s a prequel sequel, written before To Kill a Mockingbird. You get a sense of the character development as Harper Lee imagined it in the beginning. It is quite an interesting structure,'" Robert Thomson, chief executive of publisher Harper Collins' parent company News Corp, told The Guardian.
While it's not sure what critics will have to say about the book, there's no question that it will be widely read. Some worry that Go Set a Watchman won't be able to live up to its high expectations, but considering that to Lee, this was the original story of Scout & Co., I have a pretty strong feeling it won't disappoint. At least I sure as heck hope not!
The reservation list for Go Set a Watchman is climbing rapidly at libraries and bookstores across the country, and according to The Guardian, the book is now the most pre-ordered book in publisher Harper Collins' history. As one CNN article explains, the book's massive pre-release demand speaks to the public's interest in a story that has been left up to readers to finish.
"'It's possible Go Set a Watchman will turn out to be a great work of literature," LA Times reporter Steven Zeitchick told CNN. '"But it will have some awfully stiff competition. Few books can outdo the one we've written in our minds.'"