Sandy's Reviews > The Help

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
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Nov 02, 11

bookshelves: adapted-to-film, historical-novels
Read from October 17 to November 02, 2011

I can't objectively review this book because it rang too many bells, it's too personal. But I will emphasize that it completely grasps the both awkward and tender relationship between a grown maid and the children she's raising while her own children grow up far away. It also perfectly depicts the racial boundaries that remain in the southern collective memory. And lastly, the role assigned to women, the fashion, the music, the era and the roles people took over at the time are those I've heard my grandmother recollect. How she was raised to cook and tend to the home. How her own parents were shocked when she decided to let her hair grow longer. How she was not expected to go to school because she was pretty enough to find a husband and sewing was a much more useful trade... All of that comes up through this story.

The writing. wow! I love the phonetic. After a couple of pages I was reading with a southern accent ringing in my ears. I had the "y'alls" singing through my head at work. The characters have so much depth. No one's perfect, no one's absolutely evil. Even the treacherous Hilly is a two sided character: loving with her children, caring with Skeeter, showing empathy with Skeeter's mother, abominable in every other aspect!

What I felt reading this too, is that we'd so easily look back and judge. And Stockett doesn't let you do that. Her characters, neither all bad nor all good always remind you of people you actually know and that, should they have grown up in such a place, would have played one role or the other... Not too many people, would have been an Aibileen or a Skeeter...

The book does leave a lot of place for laughs too. I especially liked the green Martian Luther King story :) :) :)

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Reading Progress

11/02/2011 page 313
70.0%

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