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The Help > "The Help" Discussion

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message 1: by Diane (new)

Diane (dianders1) | 136 comments Mod
Well, this was never an "official" pick, but I think many of us have read it. I loved it, and it really resonated with me on several levels.

St. Louis isn't technically "The South," but it's close enough that many southern elements are present in our culture there. I grew up being called "Diane Campbell" by my dad, and my cousin was "Mary Wallis", so "Mae Mobley" sounded just right to me. My grandmother had help in the form of a black maid named Beulah and a black gardener whose name I can't remember. Beulah always wore a white uniform, and the significance of that never struck me until I read "The Help." Since I finished the book, I've wondered many times what kind of employer my Boston-raised grandmother was. Was she kind? Fair? I think she probably was, but I do wonder.

When I started college, my first roommate was just starting the MPA program when I was a 17 year-old freshman. She got her undergrad at Ole Miss, was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, was a sorority girl, and was a runner-up in the Miss Mississippi pageant. I felt like I had an inside track on Skeeter, though of course my roommate was absolutely beautiful.

What did you all think of the book? What parts did you relate to, or not?


message 2: by Sally (new)

Sally (sallyjosto) | 5 comments Well, Diane, you know what I think of this book. Totally loved it! But, I did listen to it and therefore the reader of the book influenced my opinion! She had the accents perfected and I found myself wishing I lived in the south and hoping I'd be one of the good guys!


message 3: by Patricia (new)

Patricia | 80 comments I read this several months ago, so I don't remember all the detail as well as I could / should. But I did like it very much. I thought the author did an aamzing job of getting the voices right, she kept the plot tight so it didn't get too long and drawn out and she had a nice ending. All the ingredients for a book that I'd give (and hopefully DID give) a 5 out of 5!!!

Unlike Sally, I'm glad I didn't grow up in the South; I think it would have been very difficult to be one of the good guys, and I think that the South has struggled with their race issues and still does. I'm from just north of the Mason-Dixon and I went to KY for holiday, not even as far south as Mississippi, and it was not a happy place in the 1960s.

Great choice!!! I'm looking forward to the next one!!


message 4: by Kate (new)

Kate | 15 comments I read this last year and was surprised by how it affected me. It changed the way I view others, especially my children.
I liked the message of the book and that fact the the author didn't get preachy, she just let her characters do the work of building the world.
Beautiful book.


message 5: by Diane (last edited Feb 15, 2011 07:55PM) (new)

Diane (dianders1) | 136 comments Mod
My mom is reading it now, and I'm interested in getting her "take" on it, as she married in St. Louis in 1956 and was only just a bit older than Elizabeth, Hilly, and Skeeter.

So, what's next? Who wants to pick? Non-fiction, fiction, biography...? I really love reading Michael Pollan, so something like The Omnivore's Dilemma would be fun.


message 6: by Patricia (new)

Patricia | 80 comments I was in the book store over the weekend and they said that The Hare With The Amber Eyes is a big hit right now. As one or two other people (who have pretty good taste in good fiction as opposed to my somewhat pedestrian tastes) have also said it was very good, what does everyone think of that? I don't know anything about it (probably should have read it before I recommended it!), but it'd maybe give us something a bit different? It's by Edmund De Waal, I think my friend said it was a translation, but a good one (we've read some really torturous books in translation in my other book group and I'm cautious about it now).


message 7: by Diane (new)

Diane (dianders1) | 136 comments Mod
That sounds good to me! The library out here doesn't even have it yet, but I'll find a copy. I need a new project!


message 8: by Patricia (new)

Patricia | 80 comments Oh, goody. I'd send you mine when I finish it, but that wouldn't help anyone else!!!


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