Hello book lovers,
If you guys have been stuck in the tundra for the past few weeks, Harper Lee, the author of To Kill a Mockingbird is coming out with its sequel, Go Set a Watchman fifty-five years later. Now, this has held the literary world by its balls–everyone and their dear old grandma who read it when she was a young book nerd in the 1950s wants to read it. And I am certainly no exception. But with such high expectations to live by, will this sequel be good enough?
Hands down, this is the sequel of the century. The very fact this sequel will be published 55 years after the immensely popular original already seals it. No one, no one in the literary world can say that they are not even the tiniest bit interested in reading this novel. But this is where my worry begins. I loved To Kill A Mockingbird. Arguably the best literature novel I ever had to read for school and Miguel Street was a gem. I don’t want that love for the original to die because of a bad sequel. Call me paranoid, but sequels in any aspect of life have never had a good rapport.
I don’t mean to be like the young person I am, but let’s look at contemporary novel series. When I mean contemporary, I mean in this decade. Because 90s novels were glorious and I am biased. It is rare when I find a series where all the books are good. Recently, I read a magic novel series where the first book was great. It wasn’t fantastic but it showed promise. But by book seven, I started skipping scenes just to reach the end. Afterwards, I felt ashamed but I don’t regret it.
Since we’re on the topic of magic novel series, I have to mention Harry Potter. The first book was something set in my wildest fantasies. By book five, I was sailing on the Harry Potter cloud nine where Hagrid was the greatest mini-giant ever, I had fantastic friends and Voldemort was forever on my kill-list. Then the sixth book was published and…well…let’s just say that book will always remain a sore spot. The seventh book sort of redeemed the sixth but it was too late. I was already scarred.
If I want to get really complicated, I could discuss sub-series and sequels about different characters from the same world. Readers, you know the ones I’m talking about. When an author deviates from beloved characters, gives you new characters but the love just isn’t the same? I have an example of this but its also a magic novel series.
This could be a sign to stop reading about magic.
But as a bibliophiliac I’m going to let the warning slide.
So although I am excited about this sequel, I can’t help my anxiety. It has been 55 years since the events told in the original story. Racism and class bias are still serious issues in our 21st century societies but they are not as prominent as they once were. What would the social commentary entail? Will it be too old for our time?
Harper Lee, the literary world will welcome this sequel with open arms. Let’s just hope its expectations are met.