Harper Lee’s New Novel – A Cynic’s Approach

As my newsfeed is flooded with the news of Harper Lee’s second novel’s release date being announced, I can’t help but feel somewhat sceptic.

While, like any English student I’m ecstatic about the idea of catching up with some of my all-time favourite characters once more in Go Set a Watchman, there’s a potential for malice behind this new novel.

See, Harper Lee’s sister died only a few months ago now – may she rest in peace. For any who don’t know about the sisters, they had a great relationship, with Harper Lee claiming that she’d based the strong-willed yet gentle character of Atticus Finch on her lawyer of a sister.

However, as Harper Lee found herself being swindled repeatedly by the publishing industry and by those around her, it was Alice Lee who kept her from signing things she didn’t fully understand. She protected her sister from some pretty nasty situations, especially after Harper suffered the lasting effects of her stroke in 2007.

To a cynic, it seems all a little too coincidental that soon after the woman who’d kept her out of trouble for so long died, Harper Lee signed an agreement to release a manuscript she’d forgotten for nearly sixty years. While there may be a genuine want on Lee’s behalf to have this published at long last now that it has been found, I personally urge any fans of Lee’s to proceed with caution.


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