La Petite Américaine's Reviews > The Help

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
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Jun 02, 10

bookshelves: meh-whatever
Read from May 21 to 24, 2010

What's not to like about this book? It's decently written, there are clear-cut good guys and bad guys so there's no pesky character analysis to bother with, and social injustice runs rampant but there's lots of revenge and redemption, Hollywood style, for those who are wronged.

I actually enjoyed it.

However...there's a certain aspect of this book that left an iffy taste in my mouth. There's just something weird about a 40 year-old white woman telling us what it was like to be black in Mississippi during the civil rights movement.

I suspect people that truly loved this book on a literary level are the kind of folks who have no problem buying a knockoff designer bag, the kind of thing that looks real and feels genuine and could fool everyone except those with the keenest eye. If you can parade around an imitation as something authentic, be it Chanel or Prada or literature, then The Help is the book for you.

Meh. Whatever.
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Comments (showing 1-26 of 26) (26 new)

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Renee Ooohh, I can't wait for your review on this one. I haven't read it yet....but, I keep meaning to!


La Petite Américaine Here are the 4 things that have bothered me so far, and I quote "Wrinkles like a road map. Black as night. Straight as an arrow." Other than that, I'm kind of enjoying it.


message 3: by Jessica (new)

Jessica I only see 3 things :)


message 5: by Ami (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ami The "negro" vernacular irked me...Not prevalent to the era at all. They didn't run around yelling "Lawd...Lawd," amongst other bits in the dirty South at the time. Although laughable, I found it demeaned the strength and intelligence of the characters that were portrayed to speak in such a manner. I'm sure it's not what Stockett intended, by any means, but I found myself honing into it quite early in the novel. Did anybody else pick up on it? It’s still a good read on the whole.


La Petite Américaine No idea, my experience with the South is limited to four days in New Orleans for Mardi Gras in 1999 and an hour layover in Houston. Probably hard for anyone who isn't Mark Twain to decently write the vernacular.


La Petite Américaine My kindle app says I'm 32% through it, and I'm already scared that I know what's coming (involving Constantine's daughter.) I so hope I'm wrong.


message 8: by Sara (new) - rated it 1 star

Sara Mannheimer Having read this book immediately after my transplant to the South, I pretty much blame Kathryn Stockett for sparking my horror and dread. In fact, I'm still horrified and dreadful.


La Petite Américaine Really? I blame Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry :)


message 10: by Moira (new)

Moira Russell La Petite Américaine wrote: "Probably hard for anyone who isn't Mark Twain to decently write the vernacular. "

HA! (Or Zora Neale Hurston.)


La Petite Américaine Well I mean not even Toni Morrison can do it. It's a gift bestowed upon very few writers.


message 12: by Moira (new)

Moira Russell La Petite Américaine wrote: "Well I mean not even Toni Morrison can do it. It's a gift bestowed upon very few writers."

Oh yes, it's v difficult (I just thought your zingy comment was funny).


La Petite Américaine So havwe you read this book, Moira? I'm half way through it and am really enjoying it, but I have this sense of dread because it's well written, thoughtful AND a bestseller...those three never go together. I'm worried some implausable, dramatic, tear-jerking event is coming...


message 14: by Moira (new)

Moira Russell La Petite Américaine wrote: "So havwe you read this book, Moira?"

Mais non! I am going on a Bronte-and-Byatt binge right now. I actually don't know much of anything about it, I think.


message 15: by Ami (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ami nope, not tear-jerking...It's moreso a puke-in-my-mouth/hilarious event on the rise-I think it saves the second half.


La Petite Américaine My bet is minny pooed in the chocolate pie. (Just joking) ;)


message 17: by Sara (new) - rated it 1 star

Sara Mannheimer Good Guess.


La Petite Américaine Dude. You're joking, right? Is that it? The Terrible Bad Thing she can't tell anyone about the chocolate pie??


message 19: by Ami (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ami Lawd! Lawd! BAH-HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA...Bleh(wretching)!


message 20: by K (new) - rated it 3 stars

K I'm glad to hear you're enjoying the book, LP, although I guess that means that I don't have a snarky review to look forward to. Oh, well.


La Petite Américaine Ok. I can't believe I guessed the pie thing


message 22: by K (new) - rated it 3 stars

K Personally, I thought the pie thing was really obvious. But maybe that was just a fluke 'cause I usually don't guess these things, even when they are obvious.


message 23: by Sara (new) - rated it 1 star

Sara Mannheimer Yeah, I guessed it too, but, like Stella, I thought there was no way such a thing could actually happen in literature. Yet another reason I gave it one star.


La Petite Américaine @sara: it's definitely not literature


message 25: by Ami (last edited Jun 21, 2010 11:42AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ami La Petite Américaine wrote: However...there's a certain aspect of this book that left an iffy taste in my mouth. There's just something weird about a 40 year-old white woman telling us what it was like to be black in Mississippi during the civil rights movement.

Well, then don't read "Little Bee," by Chris Cleave...British journalist writing via the voice of a female Nigerian illegal immigrant in England :) Of course, it would be really interesting to read what you might have to say about it.


Renee Girl - they have made this into a movie!! Watch the trailer. It comes out this August. Of course its a movie, because the book is all about what we would like to think the South was like and how we would like to think we would have acted. Lawd, we all wants to be just like Miss Skeeter! Hahaha


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