Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Help

I have read a lot of good books lately, so I thought I would start doing reviews of some of them. With Matt working now (and working from home most nights) and not having cable, I have more time to read while Will is asleep. And I LOVE it! I had missed not reading as much the last few years. It's also really nice having a library within walking distance of our house. I love the feeling of walking out with an armload of books I'd been wanting to read, all without paying a dime!

The first book I want to review is The Help by Kathryn Stockett. This would have to make my list of the top 5 novels I've ever read. The book is set in 1962 in the segregated town of Jackson, Mississippi during the height of the civil rights movement. Told in first person from the perspective of three different characters, the book pulls back the curtain on the lives of white Junior League women and their "help" who basically manage their lives, from cleaning their homes to cooking their meals to even raising their children. The book specifically chronicles two maids, Aibilene and Minny, as they take on a huge risk and work with a white woman, Skeeter, to tell their stories in a book she is writing of what it is like to live their life as the hired help of the white class.

It is a heart-wrenching and fast-paced book whose 464 pages will be over before you can blink. I found it very hard to put down and stayed up late too many nights devouring it. Stockett does an incredible job of drawing you in and making you empathize with the characters. Being from the south myself, I pictured every scene being played out in my head as I read through the syrupy southern dialogue. (I was also happy to find out that a movie is already in the works to be released next spring!) This book will make you laugh, and it will make you angry.

I was surprised to find out that this is the author's first book. I will definitely be reading anything else she writes. I also thought it was neat that she lives in my old stomping grounds - Atlanta.

I gave it to Matt to read when I was done and he read it in about 2 days on his train-ride commute. He loved it as well, and we enjoyed talking about it afterwards. My mom was visiting while I was reading it, and she picked it up and read the first few pages and then went home and bought it to finish it! And this is a woman who swears she never reads fiction!

I would highly recommend this book.


Mary Beth said...[Reply to comment]

dang, sis, you are a GREAT writer! i actually already had this book on my amazon wishlist but your review just moved it to the top!

Fran Pierce said...[Reply to comment]

Great review on a great book! Embarrassed to say I lived through some of that atrocity, and it
WASN'T fiction! Keep writing!!

Karen McLeod said...[Reply to comment]

I read this book last month and loved it. A friend of mine recommended it and we are meeting up with 2 other friends in Montana at the end of the month for a reunion. We plan to discuss "The Help" when we get together. I enjoyed your review.

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...