In February, celebrated Alabama author Harper Lee’s publisher announced the 89-year-old would debut her first novel in 55 years. Go Set a Watchman, a follow-up to her famous To Kill a Mockingbird, hits shelves Tuesday, July 14, and already it’s said to be the second most pre-ordered book since the Harry Potter series.This morning The Guardian released an exclusive preview of the first chapter featuring Southern actress Reese Witherspoon narrating the first 20 minutes of the book.
Set to ambient sounds that place you right next to the central character—a grown-up Jean Louise “Scout” Finch as she takes a train from New York back home to the Deep South—Witherspoon brings the story to life with the smooth, loving tone of a mother reading her child to sleep. We won’t spoil anything, but if this preview is any indication, Go Set a Watchman will not disappoint in delivering the imagery and lyrical style that made To Kill a Mockingbird a Southern classic.
See The Guardian’s interactive release of Go Set a Watchman and tell us what you think.