Some mornings, the sun might just be by your side as your fingers flip through to the page where you were once familiar with, to the last time, perhaps the morning before when you you were inside of its books. Some mornings, the sun, while there, might be enshrouded in clouds, and with coffee by your side as tempered company through the purse of your lips, you’re eyes rove left to right over the pages, among many pages of the tome you’re reading.
Its been twenty years, since readers, whether by morning, or another glorious other time of day, found themselves going from page to page, through Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mocking Bird. On July, 14th, Lee releases its prequel, Go Set A Watchman.
In the first chapter – 23.47 minutes of listening time – currently on Soundcloud, narrated by Reese Witherspoon, Lee’s character Jean Louise “Scout Finch” also finds herself among a morning in the year of 1950, “over her breakfast coffee” riding a train, leaving New York, headed to Georgia with the ultimate destination of Alabama to see her father Atticus.
Can you see this scene? The coffee, the train, the ever-passing landscape? Can you imagine her journey, her runaway thoughts, the sounds? I can; I can smell the coffee, each and every cup to the “fourth cup of coffee,” too, even if its in my imagination. I wonder what kind of coffee she’s drinking. Even more, I’m wondering, what kind of coffee I’ll drink on my next train wave when a book will live between my hands as I travel from city to another city.
Books have changed since To Kill a Mockingbird was published. However, the beautiful beginning of a novel with a timeless ritual never gets old. I am incited to find a space, with my cup of warmth, to read this Pulitzer Prize voice speak again.
For now, let us hear it here: