Becca's Reviews > The Help

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
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Dec 24, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: historic-fiction, race-relations
Read on June 29, 2011 — I own a copy , read count: 1

I was kind of torn by this book. I had low expectations from the beginning -- I was discomfited by the dialect, my northern-identity politicking-liberal arts sensitivities were a little appalled at a white woman writing this book and Skeeter read like an obvious self-insertion character.

That being said, I warmed up quickly. Stockett has clearly done a lot of research, in addition to having grown up in Mississippi with a maid. She is honest, at time brutally so, without taking a clear side. She depicts white people who do terrible things while being well-meaning, white people who have a lot of ingrained racism and are striving to be better and those who aren't. She has white characters who have grown up in poorer circumstances and are trying to fit in. She has African-American characters who pander to their white employers and those who hold their ground and those who have their own ingrained notions. My only complaint from a character development stand point is the completely villainous portrayal of Hilly -- she's easy to hate in a novel that's supposed to be about realistic people in a toxic setting.

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