Welcome to the KPL Book Club Blogspot

Welcome to the internet home of the Kilbourn Public Library (KPL) Book Club. The KPL Book Club meets at the library once a month. A book is chosen for each month and then members of the book club meet the last Monday and Wednesday of every month for lively discussion and treats. While we can’t offer you treats via the internet, this KPL Reads blog was designed for those of you who would like to participate in the book club but don’t have time to join us at meetings. Each month KPL staff will post discussion topics and questions to get you “talking”. Join in the discussion by adding a post to the blog. Click on the word comments below the post you want to "talk" about and write your comment. Be sure to check back often to see feedback and comments.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Kilbourn Public Library Book Discussion Group is reading Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee for the March book selection.  This landmark novel is set two decades after Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Maycomb, Alabama.  Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch--"Scout"-- returns home from New York City to visit her aging father, Atticus.  Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise's homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town, and the people dearest to her.  Memories from her childhood flood back, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt.

Written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman imparts a fuller, richer understanding and appreciation of Harper Lee.  Here is an unforgettable novel of wisdom, humanity, passion and humor. 

Maycomb is a town without train service, and its bus service "was erratic and seemed to go nowhere."  How does this lack of connection isolate the citizens of Maycomb, and how does that isolation affect how they see themselves and outsiders? 

Think about the extended Finch family. What is their status in Maycomb?  What is the significance of being a Finch in this small Southern town?  Does it afford them privileges--as well as expectations of them and responsibilities--that other families do not share?  Do the Finches have freedoms that others do not enjoy?

Think about the relationship between Jean Louise and Atticus at the beginning of the novel.  Does Jean Louise idealize her father too much?  How does she react when she discovers that her father is a flawed human being? 

How have our attitudes about race evolved since the 1950s when Go Set a Watchman was written?  In what ways have we progressed?  Is the stain of racism indelible in our national character, or can it eventually be erased?  Can it be eradicated for good?

Consider the novel's title, Go Set a Watchman.  What is its significance?  Why do you think Harper Lee chose this as her title for the book?

Let us know what you think of Go Set a Watchman.