November 13, 2009

The Help


I just finished (literally just finished) reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett, and I just had to post. You must read it. It's one of those books where you'll let the laundry pile up, the kids stay up until 10pm, and throw a frozen pizza on the table for dinner, just so you can keep reading. The gist of the story is that of a twenty-something white woman in 1960's Mississippi who grows frustrated of her empty life as a "society" woman; living only for bridge club dates and Junior League meetings. She has a deep-down desire to be a writer and decides to write a book on the most controversial topic there could have been at the time: race relations in the South. Her angle on the issue is unique, however. She asks the black maids of her unknowing friends if they would share their stories of what it's like to work for white families and the adventure begins.

I don't want to give the plot away, so I'll stop here. Kathryn Stockett is phenomenal and her characters jump off the page. You'll find yourself thinking about them even when you're not reading.

Of course there has been some critcism of the book, seeing as how she is a white woman partly writing in the vernacular of black women in the '60's South. I will admit that I was taken aback by that in the beginning. But once you realize what an honest and respectful job she does of honoring her characters, it quickly becomes apparent what a gem this book is.

*This is a purely independent book review! I saw it at the bookstore, bought it and loved it. The end.

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6 comments:

MelADramatic Mommy said...

Thanks! I'll keep my eyes peeled for this. I like finding new authors.

Peter and Nancy said...

Thanks for the book recommedation! I'm kind of a reading junkie -- if I have a busy week coming up, I can NOT start reading something or nothing will get done. :o)
-- Nanc

toddlerplanet said...

Oh, I wish I'd read this yesterday -- I read The Help earlier this year, and I thought it was amazing. Would have loved to compare notes with you!

Yes, it was uncomfortable. Yes, it was frustrating. But it was also real. And as a woman who grew up in that place (although not quite that time), I can say that it really was true-to-life.

For good or for bad, she told the truth, and she captured the spirit of what life was like in such a place, in such a time.

(My review: http://reviewplanet.wordpress.com/2009/02/10/the-help/)

DemMom said...

I loved it too. My great aunt grew up in Mississippi, before the time in the book, but she did have "help." She didn't recall any of the extreme stuff (bathroom, etc.), but it was interesting to hear her take (she gave me the book).

Justice Jonesie said...

I'm going to pick this book tomorrow!! Day one of my "vacation."

Can't wait, just wanted I needed!

Jennifer James said...

I've heard so many great things about this book. That's it! I'm buying it.

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