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Week 1 Reactions {Chp 1-6}

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message 1: by shannon (last edited Jul 15, 2011 05:34AM) (new)

shannon (design_her) | 37 comments Mod
Hey Ladies!
I just wrapped up the first week's reading and I must say that I'm enjoying the book so far. Before I get started on the next section of reading, I wanted to get you alls reaction to the book so far, so please post your thoughts here!

Here are a few of my thoughts:

- iLove Minny, I think she might be my favorite character next to Skeeter. I literally LOL'd at the thought of her standing on the toilet in Miss Celia's house... especially based on how big Aibeleen described her as.

- What do ya'll think Skeeter is going to write about? I personally think she's going to write "The Help" in a sense. Like an article from the perspective of a (black) housekeeper.

- What in the world is wrong with Miss Celia? They keep alluding to the fact that she has more problems than she lets on.

- Do you consider Hilly and Elizabeth to be Skeeter's real friends? I kinda like how the book separates them based on education. Skeeter seems to have a more liberal approach to life, gender roles, racism, etc.

- Why do you think Constantine was sent away? I kinda assumed that Skeeters mom thought her husband got her pregnant and sent her away. Thoughts??

I like how the book highlights several people who are outside of the norm. I've never really read about Housekeepers who talk back like Minny. White men are portrayed in a completely different light than I've seen them in most of these type of books (usually very racist). And Skeeters role is very different... she kind of sees past gender and color though she recognizes that it is there. Very interesting.

ALSO... check the group photo section, I made bookmarks!. If you're interested in having a personalized one let me know :)

message 2: by Keisha (new)

Keisha | 4 comments Shannon, I have read more than you so I'm going to chime in and try not to give away anything.

- I love Minny as well and Skeeter is definitely my favorite character in the book.

- We have the same thoughts with regards to the material that Skeeter is going to write - a book on "The Help" in Jackson.

- Miss Celia sounds crazy but I love hearing Minny call her fool. She could be an alcoholic or depressed....

- Hilly and Elizabeth are no one's friends by any means, especially Hilly. I think that Elizabeth has the potential to be more genuine of a person and a good friend, but she follows suit to Hilly's lead which is bad.

- With regards to Constantine, I also assume that Skeeter's mother thinks that Constantine got pregnant by her husband. That is only thing I could come up with but I am dying to know what happened to her!

message 3: by Carmesia (new)

Carmesia Straite | 11 comments Before I give my thoughts about what we read so far, I want to warn everyone that the trailer/commerical for the movie gives a little bit of the book away! For instance, I pretty much know what Skeeter is going to write about because of the commerical :( So be careful!

-Can't figure out who I love more-- Aibileen or Min
ny. I love what both of them say about situations. Usually, they say what I'm thinking! I often find myself thinking "mmmhm" in my head when they're giving their opinion about the people they're serving.

-BTW, I'm taking notes on some of the cleaning tips. lol

-Of course the phrase "the help" is mentioned several times...but I'm starting to wonder if "Crisco" will take on more significance. I've seen it a few times in the book -- re Aibileen and Treelore's game and then when Minny was schooling Celia about it's uses. I could be wrong, but we'll see!

- Celia is certainly off. lol. She's soo insecure and I feel bad for her being that no one wants to befriend her. I think she's struggling b/t being herself and trying to fit in (like she wanted to decorate the house in another way but didn't because of her mother-in-law). My question is why did Johnny marry Celia and not Hilly, esp since he know Celia couldnt do anything remotely related to being a housewife???? Can't wait to find that out...

-Elizabeth is Hilly's follower and the way she's treating that baby makes me want to slap her. Hilly needs to come off the high horse.

-Either Skeeter's mother thought her husband got Constantine pregnant OR Skeeter's mother couldn't trust Constantine because she thought she'd been with a white man. To me, the latter is more likely. I think Skeeter's mother would be 'bout on her death bed if she thought her husband was with a black woman. Can't wait to find out what happened.

-Interesting that Hilly, Skeeter, and Elizabeth (I'm assuming) were all raised by black women but only Skeeter treats them with respect now. I agree with Shannon that the book separates Hilly from Skeeter in terms of education and thinking... but wonder what else made the difference with her...esp when their school was segregated.

message 4: by Ronda B (new)

Ronda B | 5 comments Aibileen and Minny are my favorites so far. I'm a little skeptical of Skeeter, though. I think the author tries to present her as a likeable character, but I don't appreicate how she's asking Aibileen for help with the column but hasn't offered to pay her anything for it. If a white person would have been helping her, she would've offered to pay. I think Skeeter means well, but she just doesn't "get it." Aibileen even says on pg 12 "Cause that's one a the stupidest questions I ever heard," when Skeeter asked, "Do you ever wish you could . . . change things?" This doesn't make her a bad person; it just shows that she's _____ (ugh, can't think of the word I want to use here).

message 5: by Carmesia (new)

Carmesia Straite | 11 comments I totally agree with how you explained Skeeter, Ronda!!!! But I must admit that I do mostly like her even though she just does not get it....

message 6: by Beri (new)

Beri | 4 comments **Aibileen puts up with so much of Elizabeth's crap it hurts. And to think that Elizabeth is going to teach Mae Mobley how to be racist, like herself, is very irritating. But it doesn't surprise me because Elizabeth is exactly like her mother, cold, assimilating, and heartless. I feel like the book is climaxing to a point where Aibileen is going to tell Elizabeth or Hilly a piece of her mind. I hope this happens!

**Skeeter on the other hand has book smarts to no end but lacks a fair amount of common sense. She is completely opposite of her mother- from her looks to her thoughts. I like the fact that she has her own opinion and not Hilly's, as everyone else in their circle of friends thinks Hilly is the end all be all. Also, I need Skeeter to stop unintentionally putting Aibileen in danger. The book idea of a maid's perspective in Mississippi can work, but Skeeter's silly behind needs to stop meeting Aibileen in public places!

**Can't wait to find out why Constantine really left! And I hope Skeeter befriends Celia because Skeeter can look past Hilly's childishness.

message 7: by Hope (new)

Hope (ebonyreader) | 8 comments I'm enjoying reading everyone's comments. I listened to the audiobook awhile ago, but I won't give anything away. Just found a website that summarizes each chapter; I'll use that to refresh my memory on where you all are. :-)

My favorite characters are Minny and Aibileen; I admire Minny's spunk and Aibileen's strength.

Hilly is by far my least favorite character; Elizabeth is a close second.

I agree that Skeeter is somewhat open-minded re race; her naivete re racial issues and the social mores of those times is frustrating though.

message 8: by Tammy (new)

Tammy Greene | 8 comments I love the dialog!

Minny and Aibileen are by far my favorite characters. I love Aibileen's strength and love that she's really perceptive to everything going on around her. I love Minny too. And I wonder if Aibileen will become more like Minny and really "tell it like it is."

I too think Constantine really left because Skeeter's mom thought she was pregnant by her husband. I think her pregnancy was what she was writing Skeeter about before the baby was born in her last letter. But everything went down hill after the baby was born.

Ms. Celia is an interesting character as well. It doesn't seem like she grew up with any "help" in the house (which would lend you to believe that her mother did the work). So why is she so incompetent? I think her character really shows how much the white families are reliant on the "help" more than the others.

message 9: by Linda (new)

Linda Jackson | 7 comments Ok. I finally got the book from the waiting list at the library, but I have read through chapter 14. I don't have a favorite character, yet, but I agree that Ms. Celia is strange and I hope I find out what is going on upstairs in those bedrooms where she seems to spend so much of her time.

message 10: by Linda (new)

Linda Jackson | 7 comments I am just starting Chapter 23. I found out why Celia stuck so close to her bedroom for so long. Not to give anything away but it was quite a graphic scene and it now explains alot about her "peculiar ways". Well, back to reading.

message 11: by Heather (new)

Heather Brownley | 6 comments I am enjoying the book so far! I like both Minny and Aibileen but I really like how the author has made them different. Minny being the more outspoken one whereas Aibileen being more reserved. Despite Aibileen not being as outspoken as Minny about her feelings you are still able to see how she feels about things.

I love Skeeter and how open minded she is. But do you think that this is typical that you would have at least one white character that is open minded about race?

What are people's thoughts about Miss Leefolt? It seems very apparent that she's not very interested in her baby. I feel so sorry for Mae Mobley. If Aibileen wasn't taking care of her who knows what would happen to that child, which is so sad. I look forward to seeing where the story goes with Miss Leefolt.

message 12: by Michelle (new)

Michelle | 11 comments I am loving the book, as well! I love Minny and Aibileen, and I agree with Heather about how they are different.

I like Skeeter, but she's completely naive and I can't wait to see how she develops a relationship with Minny and Aibileen.

I think the Skeeter, Hilly and Elizabeth's relationship is interesting. Their group reminds me of a high school "crew." Hilly thinks she is the leader. Skeeter is the independent thinker and won't be bullied by Hilly. Elizabeth is a follower.

Can't wait to read more!

message 13: by Veejay (new)

Veejay | 4 comments I like Aibileen, but Minny is definitely my favorite. She is funny beyond belief and doesn't take any mess (Go Girl!). Her interactions with Ms. Celia are hilarious. Skeeter is a little too good to be true but, in later chapters, we'll learn more, which places her in a more believable light.

I agree with most in regard to Constantine. She was fired because Skeeter's mom probably thought her husband was the father of Constantine's baby.

I really enjoy reading about and remembering the Black history of the 1960's.

message 14: by Ronda B (new)

Ronda B | 5 comments Now that I think about it, maybe Skeeter's mom knew that her husband wasn't the baby daddy, but Constantine was fired because Skeeter's mom was afraid that people would think her husband had an affair with a black woman.

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