You can’t go home again. You can go home again.
This book was written in 2015 and takes place in the 1950s
in Maycomb, Alabama. The author wrote To Kill A
Mockingbird. That was published in 1960. We’ve had
a long wait for a sequel.
Scout is going home for a visit of two weeks. Opening
line: “Since Atlanta, she had looked out the dining-car
window with a delight almost physical.” Reminds me of
the opening of Delta Wedding by Eudora Welty: “The
nickname of the train was the Yellow Dog.” Those southern
writers like their trains!
Scout has been away from home for years–coming home only
once for a funeral.
If you remember To Kill A Mockingbird well, you’ll recall that
“Scout” (now Jean-Louise grown) was a spunky, rambunctious,
mannerless type of child and in this book she’s grown up to be a
spunky, rambunctious, mannerless kind of young woman. (She
passed right by the stage when she might have turned out to be
a southern young lady . . .)
You needn’t have read the first book, but of course you did—and
must if you didn’t–for most of the characters are in this novel, too,
and there are plenty of flashbacks of Scout growing up to set you
right in the groove of what life was like.
But Scout has been living in New York city and has been away from
and relative cloying feeling of living in a small southern town. The
Supreme Court has made a decision that rocks the community
–for good and bad.
Where does Atticus stand in this development? Scout has a lot of
questions and very few answers to what has happened to her sense
of right and wrong. As Scout’s father and hero in To Kill A Mockingbird
Atticus was a pillar of strength in the early book. Scout expects no less
now that he is older. (We expect no less!)
In an early scene, the minister at the Methodist service advises his
congregation from Isaiah’s 21st Chapter, verse six:
“Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth.”
Scout struggles with her own watchman, her own doubts. You
might, too. In my mind, it’s a fine sequel.