Alison's Reviews > The Help

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
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's review
Jan 18, 2010

really liked it
Recommended to Alison by: Cindy D. and Jennifer L. and many other female friends
Recommended for: everyone, the good people of Mississippi
Read from January 18 to 27, 2010 — I own a copy

"Mississippi and the world is two very different places," the Deacon say and we all nod cause ain't it the truth.

Coming from anyone else, that line might offend, but coming from Kathryn Stockett, former Jackson, Mississippian herself, I have to smile. Cause ain't it the truth.

The Help is the story of a college graduate, Skeeter, coming home to Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960's after completing her degree at Ole Miss. Skeeter wants to be a writer, but is encouraged by a New York City publishing company to write about something more interesting that household cleaning tips.

Skeeter, who developed a close bond with the African Amercian maid who raised her and then inexplicably disappeared, sets out to tell the story of black maids in Mississippi, and uncovers some beautiful, multi-dimensional characters and a wealth of wisom for the reader in so-doing.

"It's true. There are some racists in this town," Miss Leefolt say. Miss Hilly nod her head, "Oh, they're out there."

Written about a time when the word racist had not even been truly defined, due to the status quo of indignities firmly implanted in the times and the culture, The Help goes back to an era when people didn't even fathom that what they were doing was actually an injustice. You'll be shocked, you'll be embarassed, but the beauty of this book is in it's final message...not that much separates us, and kindness knows no lines.

I think what I loved most about The Help (not generally known to be a sap, I cried through large parts of this book), is that it shows how even the persecuted can win just by having their own inner peace. And the ones who think they are winning, because they feel more powerful, or because they have come to manipulate other people and situations, they are actually the ones who suffer. They are the ones who, by having to live with themselves and their unending need for boundaries between people, come to exist in their own private hell. And most of the time they are completely oblivious to the fact.

Which brings to mind some words from another wisom-inspiring passage...

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. (Matthew 5:7, NIV)

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01/24/2010 page 90
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Sera Yay! Another 5 stars - I can't wait to discuss this one.

Alison Of course! I liked it more than I thought I would.

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