Since Harper Lee “convinced” me to read her new novel, Go Set a Watchman, I’ve been following the news about its release. Was Miss Lee tricked? Did she make her own decision? This is the woman who said she would never publish another novel. Her “friends” say she’s fine, she’s sick, and she’s crazy, and Miss Lee isn’t saying a word to the world.
Today, the publisher, HarperCollins, shared the official cover. Compare it to the cover for To Kill a Mockingbird, Miss Lee’s famous novel:
Another tree, yes, but note the difference in the number of leaves on the Watchman tree. Fall? Beginning of winter? That tree has a knothole — is it the Radley tree that Boo used for the gifts? The train illustration gives off a definite 1950s feel, which is the timeframe for the novel.
And what about that title? It’s taken from a Bible verse, Isaiah 21:6.
For thus the Lord said to me:
“Go, set a watchman;
let him announce what he sees.
Verse 7 reads:
When he sees riders, horsemen in pairs,
riders on donkeys, riders on camels,
let him listen diligently,
So interesting. How did Miss Lee work this phrase into her story? A watcher, announcer, seer, and listener — one character or several? An idea? An incident? A memory? A father?
Harper Lee fans will have to hang on until the middle of summer. The novel is due to be released on July 14. I don’t want to buy it before reading it, so I checked to see if I could reserve a copy from my public library. I figured the librarians would anticipate the demand and already have the novel in the system.
I was right, but I didn’t think about the other 20 people who had the same idea:
Maybe the library will order 20 copies. 😕