Wednesday, April 27, 2011
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Cover of The Help
About the Book:
"Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.
.......Seemingly as different from one another as can be, three women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. and why? because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.
In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women-mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends-view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope. The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don't."
The book depicts how cruel and unaccepting society was; and if you look around, still is. White folks hired the black people to help to raise their children, to love and rock them, to bandage their scrapes, to bathe them and feed them. Society hired the black nannies to nurture their children without a second thought; but, when it came to allowing the black help to use their bathrooms, they became paranoid of “catching germs”.
I loved the courage of the young woman when she decided to tell the stories of the black help. You cannot help but feel admiration for the black women as they struggled through adversity to come forth and share their stories. This book is fiction, but it is non-fiction at the same time.
The characters in the novel come from the real world. For anyone wishing to know what life was like (and still is to an extent) in the 1960s in the Southern states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, this is a wonderful read. It immerses you in the culture of the time and allows you to feel what each woman was experiencing.
The characters are wonderful. There is Constantine, who raised the “author” from the time she was born. There is Aibileen, a “wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child.” You meet Minny, Aibileen’s best friend, who is full of sass and can cook like nobody’s mama, as we say in the South. Her biggest downfall is not being able to keep her sassy mouth shut.
You are introduced to the white society women who employed black help. We have all met these woman, heck; we might even be one of them. And, then there is the poor white trash that marries well and desperately tries to fit in to a tight handpicked society. Pick up this book and live through history; you will not be able to put it down. You will laugh, and you will cry, and you will laugh until you cry. Join the ladies on a journey where they break the rules of society and cross line that were never meant to be crossed. My teaser on this one: watch out for the chocolate cake!
I was able to identify with this book on many levels and even recognized a few of the “society” women as some from my own life. I have witnessed many prejudices in today’s society that helps this book transcend time. “The Help” is debuting as a movie; and, I for one cannot wait. I hope the movie does the book justice. I definitely recommend this book.
You can purchase this book using the Amazon link below. I would love to hear if you have already read it or plan to. Happy Reading!
A friend just recommend two similar books that I am definitely going to check out. They are "The Kitchen House" by Kathleen Grissom, and "Saving CeeCee Honeycutt".