Kat Engh's Reviews > The Help

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
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Oct 06, 11

Recommended to Kat by: Rachel Kessinger
Read from June 11 to October 06, 2011 — I own a copy

I am about 160 pages into this book, and I can't tell you how many times I tried to put off doing errands over the weekend so that I could continue reading! If I could have delayed grocery shopping, a trip to Home Depot, and dinner with my visiting family on Sunday, I absolutely would have read my way through the weekend. I didn't want to put it down, I really didn't!

Here you have three perspectives on living in Jackson, Mississippi during the incredibly tense civil rights and feminist movements of the 1960's, in the absolute hotbed of racial inequity. You have Aibeleen, the sweet African American maid who has a long history of raising white women's children just long enough for the kids to reach the age where they start to treat her like a lesser class. Then there's Minnie, the smart-mouthed African American maid whose cooking can usually make up for her inability to bite her tongue. And then, standing tall and awkward is the single, white, aspiring writer woman, Skeeter, who sees the behind-the-kitchen-door stories of women like Aibeleen and Minnie as her tickets to New York to pursue her dream career as a journalist. Just what do the maids think about the new initiative by the Ladies club in Jackson to convince more white families to build separate bathroom for "the help" to prevent the spread of supposed "diseases" that poor black folks carry to the toilet? And what exactly are the white women doing with their time while the black women are busy raising their children, cooking their meals, washing and ironing their linens, and polishing their silver? What do you do, as a maid, when a white kid starts calling you mama -- or perhaps worse, what do you do when the kid gets old enough to realize that society believes the black woman who has raised them so tenderly comes from a lesser class, and should be treated as such?

Even though I tend to dislike the film/TV adaptation of books, I'd love to see The Help turned into the South's answer to Mad Men. I can't wait for my free time this week to continue reading!
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06/13/2011 page 160
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