So did Harper Lee really write this or not? There seems to be more hype about the publication of this book than about the book itself. Supposedly found abandoned in Ms Lee's house, this was the manuscript that she first submitted for publication, only to be told by her editor to take the main character, Jean Louise Finch/Scout, and flesh out her childhood story. Which she did, and it became that marvellous wonder of a story - "To Kill A Mockingbird". It's a shame that this found manuscript made it out of the drawer or cupboard where it was found, because it probably should have stayed there. The story line - early to mid 1950s, a grown up Scout returns to her home town of Maycomb, Alabama where ideas and views have changed somewhat since she left, and she is forced to take a long hard look at herself and those around her - has been challenging for readers who hold Mockingbird close to their hearts. But for me, and plenty of other on line reviewers, the main problem with this is how poorly it has been written and pulled together. It is almost as if maybe, the manuscript has been published as it was found - bits and pieces of Jean Louise's early life slotted in around the few days of her visit back to her home town. I really enjoyed these early stories - vignettes of her relationship with her father, the perfect Atticus Finch; her brother Jem; Calpurnia, the black housekeeper who became Scout's surrogate mother; her days at school. Wonderful stuff, and maybe this is why that long ago editor asked Ms Lee to make a story about Scout the child. Because the writing around Scout the adult is all over the place - it rambles, it is boring, she has the most bizarre conversations with her uncle, goes through the most intense 24 hour love/hate/love crisis with her father that reads more like a soap opera than a genuine crisis. I actually wish I hadn't read this - as a prequel/sequel it has added nothing to 'To Kill A Mockingbird". Maybe it was the vision of all those dollars to be made by those managing Ms Lee's affairs....

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