Feb 17, 12
Read from February 10 to 16, 2012, read count: 1
". . . I think about all my friends, what they done for me. What they do ever day for the white women they waiting on. That pain in Minny's voice. Treelore dead in the ground. I look down at Baby Girl, who I know, deep down, I can't keep from turning out like her mama. And all of it together roll on top a me. I close my eyes, say the Lord's prayer to myself. But it don't make me feel any better. Law help me but something's gone have to be done."
Note: My opinion on this is very much colored by the fact that I listened to the audio and it is like chocolate for the ears.
The Help is a story told from three woman's perspectives: Aibileen, Minny, and Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan. It is the story of their lives, their struggles, and their attempt to right some of the wrongs that are happening all around them; the ones most people choose to ignore and even partake in. It is about the African-American race and the egregiously awful way they were treated by their employers and the authorites back in the early '60s. It is about one young woman's courageous plan to write a book that could change many lives for the better, or possibly destroy them. It is about speaking out when you are told to shut up; standing up for what you believe in; and, most of all, not being afraid to break out of the mold people see fit for you. It is about life: the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful.
We all know that The Help is outrageously popular, that it is one of those break-out debuts that are highly acclaimed and usually made into a movie (check, check). With this kind of popularity comes both negative and positive reviews; all of which are very vocal, often more so on the negative side. This along with the fact that the audio is over eighteen hours long and that it is commercial fiction made me just a wee bit hesitant to try it. But I'm glad I did.
The Help made me feel joy, sadness, hatred, and hope — sometimes all at once. It is the sort of story that takes patience and a liberal mind to stick with it to the end, but it is well worth it in my opinion. I feel better for having read this story and, love it or hate it, The Help is a story you'll be hearing about for many years to come. 3.5 stars
P.S. Thanks a lot for the recommendation, Flannery. Sorry it took me so long to get to it.