Monday, July 26, 2010

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The Help

Skeeter is a young woman in 1960's Jackson, Mississippi. She’s a college graduate and NOT a housewife- which distresses her proper southern mother very much. Her girlfriends are housewives and society ladies…the perfect quintessential picture of how it ‘should be.’ Yet upon her return home from college, a smarter, more worldly Skeeter starts to notice things are not as perfect as they seem…not for the humble, hardworking black women who raised them.

This novel is mostly about relationships- between "the help" of Jackson Mississippi and their employers, the children who love them, and the rest of the country as a whole. While in the North integration is making great strides, Jackson is resistant to say the least.

Spurred by a desire to find out the truth about the beloved nanny of her youth, Skeeter sets out to expose Jackson’s darkest secrets, to tell the story of the women of Jackson- black and white, and finds there to be a lot of hate, alongside a lot more love than she had ever imagined.

I just couldn’t put The Help down- the story was so moving. It is a little over 400 pages and I read it in 2 days (with 3 kids! It is that good.). It was well-written from three interesting points of view- a white woman and two black maids. (I love this style of narration- it keeps me interested!) It is funny at times as well as heartbreaking- it really gets you involved emotionally. It is always intriguing to get a peek into the personal lives of others and this book does just that- but with and important message that can be summed up in this quote from the story, "Wasn't that the point of the book? For women to realize, We are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I'd thought." I can’t do this book justice here, you’ll just have to read it to know what I mean- it is worth the wait at the library, or I’d even purchase it- it’s one you’ll want to pass on to friends/family!


Erin said...

I'm halfway through this book, started it Saturday night, and I am loving it. It's crazy to me that all this was happening just 20 years before I was born. Great review Darci, thanks!

Erin said...

I finished in the middle of the night. I just can't get over how much of myself I saw in a lot of the characters - good and bad. How many times am I caught up in a project, book or computer and tell my girls 'in a minute' when they want my attention. Or say too much, or too little in pressing/awkward situations. It's interesting how it makes you evaluate all of your relationships. Even Skeeter sits back and evaluates what her life would have been if she hadn't taken the risk and is that what my life is now? Have I not taken enough risks in my life? Interesting stuff! But I am so glad you wrote the review on it because I am still wrapping my brain around it all!

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