I finished reading 'Go Set a Watchman' by Harper Lee today. Yes, it's the same one that was originally rejected by a publisher for some strange reason that caused Harper Lee to go write her more famous novel, 'To Kill a Mockingbird'. This novel features a grown-up Scout, a much older Atticus, a Jem that is present only in memory, and a few new characters that I don't remember from my middle school reading of 'To Kill a Mockingbird'.
I have to say, some of the things that I had read in reviews of the book are true: it is just as poignant and important as it's sister novel. It is just as relevant today as it was when Ms. Lee wrote it. It is as wonderfully written as would be expected of a secondary (or primary, depending on your viewpoint) epistle from a wonderful novelist.
But, after finishing this novel, I can't help but see the parallels in Scout's coming of age, and my own. For a long time- as most children with excellent parents do- I saw my parents as something more than human. I thought they had it all figured out, and that all I had to do was make the same choices that they made, or that they thought was best. Until, one day they became human- flawed, mistake making, still learning, loving, kind, caring, humans.
I'll spare y'all the messy details, but once I was able to accept my parents as human- just like myself- they became two of my best friends. Suddenly, we no longer had a parent-child relationship like that I cherish with my own boys, but we were on equal footing; a team that was meant to work together, function together, love together.
Although this story is about making the transition from the childhood realities that we all know to the real world realities, and the struggles we face as a society, it is so much more than this surface appearance. And it is desperately appropriate this day in age.
I'll be happy to lend you my copy if you can't find your own.