Susan's Reviews > The Help

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
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I am a snob. I have spent years avoiding books that everyone else is reading - books that make The New York Times Bestseller List - and have paid the price time and time again. Well people, I've learned my freakin' lesson here. I hadn't even heard of The Help until I saw the first movie trailer, and as it had been a bestseller for more than 40 weeks by that time, I was slightly behind the times. So, I give up, officially! I have purchased a subscription to The New York Times Review of Books and hopefully, I will not be caught unawares again.

As you can see, I have not posted an actual review in sometime and not because I haven't been reading. Basically, I've been reading "trash," not that there's anything wrong with trash. I actually quite enjoy my version of the old "bodice ripper" (basically, instead of "girl meets boy", girl meets werewolf, or vampire, or any number of other supernatural being.) The only problem with these books it that I really don't have anything to say about them...

Anyhow, as I was reading four of these paranormal romances, I was also reading The Help. In case you've been living under a rock, a short synopsis: The Help is about the the relationships between white women and their black maids/nurses in Jackson, Mississippi in the 60s. Some of the relationships are wonderful and touching and others are, well, about what you'd imagine they'd be living in that place at that time.

The Help is a fantastic book. Of the 30 or so books I've read this year, it easily makes the top three. The Help is narrated by three very different women: considerate and attentive Abileen, a maid for a woman who does not seem to love her children at all, bold and saucy Minny, a maid who has been fired 19 times for basically having a smart-mouth, and Skeeter, the young white woman who notices that there is something wrong with the way white people treat black people in Jackson, Mississippi, and decides to do something about it.

Each woman does her best to fight the status quo from within. Abileen tells her young charges stories of "Martian" Luther King to illustrate that a person's skin color doesn't matter, Skeeter creates a typo in the Junior League newsletter to emphasize the stupidity of the people around her, and Minny does something so "terrible awful" that I won't mention it here and spoil the surprise if you haven't read the book. In using these three unique women to tell the story, Kathryn Stockett has crafted an insightful and genuine novel that could easily be nonfiction, there is so much truth between the covers.

If you've not read it, pick it up immediately if not sooner! The Help is a book worthy of reading and examination, especially if you happen to be lucky enough to know someone who grew up in Mississippi during that time (I see a "book discussion group" in my future with my mother and sister!) While reading The Help, I laughed out loud, I cried, I even threw my book across the room at one point (which is something I've only ever done once before in 33 years.) I cannot recommend this book enough, and nothing I've said here seems an adequate description of the depth of this novel. You simply must read it. And when you've finished, come back and discuss it with me!
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Reading Progress

July 20, 2011 – Started Reading
July 20, 2011 – Shelved
August 3, 2011 –
page 104
23.42% (Hardcover Edition)
September 4, 2011 – Finished Reading
September 5, 2011 – Shelved as: family-relationships
September 5, 2011 – Shelved as: fiction
September 5, 2011 – Shelved as: friendship
September 5, 2011 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
September 5, 2011 – Shelved as: own-in-book-format
September 5, 2011 – Shelved as: read-in-2011
September 5, 2011 – Shelved as: remarkable-reads
September 5, 2011 – Shelved as: to-re-read
September 5, 2011 – Shelved as: women
September 5, 2011 – Shelved as: young-women

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Dorothy Glad you finished! I see you quite liked it!

Dorothy Good review, btw.

Crystal Love your review. Glad you finally read it...really worth it!

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