Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Winter Wonders- A Mockingsequel

What better news can we get, on a snowy February day, than to find that Nelle (Harper) Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, is going to have her second book published - at the age of 88.

Rather than endure the fame of a best selling author, Lee eventually returned to her small home town in Alabama. She never wrote another book - or so we were told. She lead a simple life until (according to reports) she suffered a stroke in 2007.  Today, she lives in an assisted living facility.

Her older sister, Alice Lee, died three months ago at the age of 103.  Alice was Harper's attorney and was the oldest practicing attorney in Alabama at the time of her retirement at age 100.

Their father was the inspiration of Atticus Finch, the heroic father of the book.

So, am I happy?  I am one of millions of readers who loved To Kill a Mockingbird, both the book and the movie, which starred Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch.  So you would think I would be thrilled to have a sequel published.  And it is a sequel, taking place 20 years after Mockingbird ended.

I am not thrilled.  I am puzzled.

Lee never wrote a second book for her own private reasons.  Fame took her by surprise.  I respect that decision.  Putting myself in her shoes, I don't know if I would have acted differently.  I do not enjoy the spotlight- I might have run back into the shadows.

But, now, out of nowhere, after about 55 years - a sequel! Now?

The book about to be published was Lee's first work.  It was lost, and then it was found, by her new lawyer.  Or so the publisher says

So, did Harper (as she is known) Lee have a change of heart at the age of 88?  Did the death of her sister convince her that life is too short?  Or, was the manuscript truly lost until recently?

In July, we'll know if it is a worthy sequel.

Harper Lee does not plan any book tours.  It is said aging has not been kind to her in recent years.

Do you plan to read the sequel?

12 comments:

  1. Interesting story behind the sequel. I'm intrigued. Do you suppose she needs the money? My mother is in an assisted living facility and I know how expensive they are!

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    1. I agree with you - or, worse, suspecting she may be exploited. There are some stories in the media I haven't read yet. I may wait a bit until the truth starts to sort itself out.

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  2. I heard this on our local news last night. Should be interesting to see what it is all about.

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    1. There are a lot of rumors flying around now - I hope none of it is the truth.

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  3. Ah! Now I can see we're both looking at this differently, Alana. I can understand why you would be skeptical. I read somewhere that she wrote this book first and the publisher asked her to write something from a little girl's point of view. Who knows? I'm looking forward to reading it!

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    1. I was beginning to suspect that Harper Lee may have been exploited in some way - or that the money was needed to pay for her care (agreeing with Debbie below). Now there are some other stories in media along this line I will read tonight after work.

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  4. I,too, love To Kill a Mockingbird, although I must confess I have never seen the movie. I can't wait to read the sequel, but I have been similarly puzzled by the turn of events. I guess we will all find out in July!

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    1. I was beginning to suspect that Harper Lee may have been exploited in some way - or that the money was needed to pay for her care). I am so hoping neither is the case.

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  5. I feel much the same way - puzzled. I'm not sure what to think, or what's the truth, but I suppose time will tell.

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    1. I think time is beginning to tell - and I hope some of the speculation is wrong. We'll see.

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  6. I am puzzled also. I have read the reports in the media as others here have concerning Ms. Lee and have even heard that she would sign anything she was asked to by her lawyer. So yes, I fear she is being taken advantage of, but does that mean the story concerning the original manuscript is untrue? I don't know. Real fans will eat the book alive if it doesn't embody the spirit of the original and shine with the same language. We will know if someone "ghosted" this or not.

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    1. I was already visualizing the snarky (sorry for stealing your name) book reviews on Goodreads if the book was an epic fail. I am so hoping it is good. Really, really, good!

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