Trish's Reviews > The Help

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
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Aug 15, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction
Read in August, 2011

I resisted reading this book for a long time. I tend to do that when a book is really popular. But my friend insisted I read the book so we could go see the movie together, and I agreed.

This is a difficult book to review because, while it was enjoyable to read, I have since seen quite a few reviews about the aspects many people did not like in the book, and they seem to have a lot of solid points to make.

While the topic of race relations will always be current and we can’t imagine that the past won’t continue to have an impact on our society, I don’t know if this book has sparked those conversations or whether it is mainly a way for white people to feel good about “how far we’ve come,” so to speak, while avoiding the issue of where we are today.

I also can’t speak to the questions that have been raised about the dialects and such, but I will say that I found the maids’ characters and stories to be much more interesting than the white women, even Skeeter. Skeeter struck me as being alternately clueless and reckless, although I can appreciate that she was trying to learn and figure out who she was going to be as a person.

So there you have it, my not so scholarly thoughts on this book, which – it should probably be said – is not a scholarly book after all. I did find it interesting that the one passage I highlighted while reading is the one the author claims as her favorite in the afterword:

"Wasn’t that the point of the book? For women to realize, We are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I’d thought."

Taken in that light, I think Stockett achieved her goal.
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