The first chapter of author Harper Lee’s upcoming book Go Set a Watchman has been released prior to the work’s July 14 release date. The story picks up 20 years after where To Kill a Mockingbird left off and features the return of Jean Louise “Scout” Finch, who is now a grown woman in her twenties, and her father, Atticus Finch.
Scout is introduced in the first chapter as she is coming back to her hometown of Maycomb, Alabama to see her father, who is now 72-years-old. Atticus is still practicing law and refuses to retire despite being in his twilight. Expecting to meet her father at the train station, Scout is instead greeted by childhood friend Henry Clinton. Upon meeting, Henry “grabbed her in a bear hug, put her from him, kissed her hard on the mouth, then kissed her gently.”
Scout is further surprised when Henry asks to marry her. Unenthusiastic, Scout must consider the unexpected proposal while visiting her sick, aging father. The Wall Street Journal noted that the first chapter also “includes a bombshell about Scout’s brother,” Jeremy.
Here’s an audio clip of the first chapter of Go Set a Watchman narrated by actress Reese Witherspoon.