I've been reading about the upcoming release of Harper Lee's "Go Set a Watchman," the manuscript for which somehow had disappeared, or been hidden or misplaced, sixty years ago. The story in "Watchman" is set twenty years after Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird" and both books share some of the locales, and characters, such as Scout and Atticus Finch.
"Watchman" won't be released until Tuesday and meanwhile I thought it might be a good idea to re-read "Mockingbird," which I'd first read in high school.
I expected to have forgotten most of it, but Lee's prose and story easily came back, if not all the details, certainly the basic plot and characters, beginning with the ominous introduction of Boo Radley, in the first page.
And shortly into the first chapter, the following familiar description came up:
There was no hurry, for there was nowhere to go, nothing to buy and no money to buy it with, nothing to see outside the boundaries of Maycomb County. But it was a time of vague optimism for some of the people: Maycomb County had recently been told that it had nothing to fear but fear itself.
That's beautiful stuff, and yes, "Mockingbird" is safely stashed somewhere in my head. It demonstrates the lasting impact on me of Lee's prose and that my memory, if jostled, still works reasonably well.