the good book corner

Manuscript help, book reviews and author interviews

Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee, reviewed by Sapna Khajuria


There were some major hurdles in the way of my reading this book. Top of the list was the shocking revelation that almost everyone’s childhood idol, Atticus Finch, was toppled off the pedestal he was placed on, courtesy To Kill a Mockingbird. Having read this in numerous online articles, I procrastinated a fair bit before mustering the courage to read the book.

Once I started reading, my first impression was that this book lacked the breezy narrative of To Kill a Mockingbird. Whether it is deliberately done, to create a distinction between the narrative of an 8 year old Scout in Mockingbird and a grown up Jean Louise here, I leave it to you to decide.

Scout is now Jean Louise, who lives in New York and is visiting her hometown of Maycomb. Atticus is an arthritis ridden 72 years old, Jem is dead and Jean Louise is in a relationship with her childhood friend Hank. The upside is that Jean Louise is still as irreverent and feisty as Scout was – not really caring about societal expectations of young Southern ladies. More than halfway through the book, she comes across Atticus and Hank sitting in a meeting of a very right wing, negro hating citizens’ council.

Scout, pretty much like the reader, is shocked at this betrayal by the one person who she held as the upholder of equality and justice, the person who taught her, “every man’s island, Jean Louise, every man’s watchman, is his conscience”. She wonders if she has been living in a dream world and the part where her uncle asks her to look in the mirror and tell him what she saw, is an attempt to depict her conflict. Her confrontation with Atticus is bound to rattle the reader. Replace the word negro with any other downtrodden social category, and it could well be a question of whether an average person would feel the same level of discomfort at unbridled intermingling of classes of people. The book references the US Supreme Court’s decision outlawing segregation of public schools.

It’s never a pleasant feeling to see your heroes fall- to know your idols are made of nothing but clay. I will still retain the image of my hero Atticus / Gregory Peck, and continue to think of To Kill a Mockingbird as one of my favourite books.

IMG_20141003_141403 “I am a lawyer by training and a full on book lover from as far back as I can remember. I live in Gurgaon, India with my husband and twin boys. Every year, I resolve to finish reading the books I have before buying new ones, and every single year my resolution fails”….Sapna Khajuria


About artikaaurorabakshi

Artika Aurora Bakshi Artika Aurora Bakshi is the author of three well-acclaimed children’s books,My Little Sikh Handbook, My Little Sikh Handbook 2: Ardas, My Little Sikh Handbook: Travel Journal, and an anthology of stories, Hold On To Me. Her first story, set in Amritsar, during the pre-Partition period, All She Had Left, was published on Story Mirror. She co-manages, a manuscript help and book review site. Her passion for reading has led her to helping other writers with their manuscripts. She comes from a family of lawyers and has a master’s degree in International Banking & Finance. Currently based in Sri Lanka, she teaches Commerce and History on a part-time basis at an international school and enjoys being part of the literary scene in Sri Lanka. A regular at the Galle Literary Festival and other literary events in Sri Lanka, Artika’s articles and book reviews have featured in the Daily Mirror, Daily News, The Ceylon Chronicle, and various blogs, such as,,, She was actively involved with SAARC Women’s Association of Sri Lanka and was President of the Association in 2016. An avid reader, Artika runs an online book club with a membership base of over 600 members. Her quotes are featured under soul.nightingale on Instagram and on Soul Nightingale by Artika Aurora Bakshi on Facebook. Artika is also working on her fourth children’s book in the My Little Sikh Handbook series and a second anthology of stories for adults. You can reach Artika at .

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on August 12, 2015 by in Guest Reviewers and tagged , , .
%d bloggers like this: