Tatum's Reviews > The Help

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
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Jan 16, 12

bookshelves: historical-fiction, read-in-2012
Recommended to Tatum by: Book Club Read
Recommended for: Almost Anyone
Read in January, 2012, read count: 1

It sounds strange to say I gave this book four stars based on the merits of the middle of the book, but that's what I did. If the entire book had the same strength it would have been a 5 star read. If it had been all written like the beginning or the final 100 or so pages, it would have gotten a 3, maybe even a 2.

When I first began the book I wasn't sure if I would like it and that was a feeling that continued till about Chapter 10. I would read some, put it down, not feel compelled to go back to it, even though I didn't actually dislike it. It just wasn't quite interesting enough, quite good enough to make me want to put other things aside.

And then the author hits her stride and the book takes off. Things go unnoticed as I read on, eager for the next chapter and the next. I was completely caught up in the characters, immersed in the plot. I was -finally- seeing what it was that everyone else saw in this novel!

And then once I was all emotionally attached and involved in the story, along came the final nine chapters... I am not sure if the author felt the book was getting too long, if she was operating under a tight deadline or if she was trying to use a literary device to try to create more suspense and a sense of urgency, but it just feels rushed all of a sudden. The pace that had been so successful through the middle of the book is lost as too much information is crammed into too short chapters with less of the detail that made the other part so enjoyable. When I turned the last page of the last chapter I thought to myself that there should have been at least another chapter or two to finish things off, but there wasn't.

And yet, it's still a 4 star book. Because the middle was just that good. I only wish the beginning and end had been as good as the rest.
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