Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Cover of "The Help"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."


My Review:

            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".

      

15 comments:

  1. Hi I am a new follower from the blog hop. Please visit my blog and follow me back at http://my-2-cents.blogspot.com

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  2. Valerie - Following your blog. Love it! Found you on Facebook too. Thanks for the follow.

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  3. Wonderful well-written review. I loved it! I actually don't read books like this very often. It just hits too close to home. I've heard the stories from my grandmother and great grandmother and it just isn't a world that I want to escape to. I just can't help thinking that I just happened to be lucky to be born in a later time where I'm at least allowed to pretend that it isn't there.

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  4. I just saw this book on my suggested reading list!!!!! It was nice reading your review on it!

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  5. Thank you both for your comments. I think that sometimes we need to be reminded that we are all humans and should be treated as such. A simple philosophy but we really do all put our pants on one leg at a time. It is good to be humbled every now and then. Thank you again for stopping by and taking the time to leave your thoughts.

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  6. I keep hearing about this book. I think I might have to check it out.

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  8. I am your newest follower via FF, if you stop by mine I am having a pre-loved giveaway (its a Tami Hoag) if your interested, it is open until the end of this month.

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    Lainy http://smbslt.blogspot.com

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  9. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I'm following back! http://www.magicalurbanfantasyreads.com/

    BookLuvr Mindy

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  10. Hey!
    I really like your blog!
    I found it via the Friday Blog Hop!
    I hope you take a look at my blog too :)

    I can't wait to read more (i'm your newest follower)

    Have a great day!

    Katrine
    thegentleflower.blogspot.com

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  11. Stopping by to say HI, I saw your comment on my blog. I did like this book and I agree with you about the cruelty of society them, my grandmother corrects me and tells me I just don't understand. She lived in the south in the 50's and she said it was just the way it was. She doesn't feel bad about the way 'it was' that bothers me. Thanks

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  12. Great review! One of the things that bothered many of my friends about it was that people dismiss it as "that's just the way it was." Well, just because that's the way it was, doesn't mean we have to like it, or appreciate it.

    Thanks again for the visit to my book review blog!

    Miz Parker
    Bucket List Media
    http://mizparker.wordpress.com

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  13. You know, it seems like everyone absolutely loves this book. So, periodically, I think, maybe I should read it. And then I read the synopsis and remember that for some reason, I have absolutely no interest in the story. :P Glad to hear that you liked it though!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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  14. I know you reviewed this a while ago, but I wanted to tell you that I loved this book also. Haven't seen the movie yet. I am now following you, and I was touched that you shared my post on your facebook page that I shared your page on my facebook page as well. Thank you!

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  15. I liked the book which came highly recommended to me. Was a little disappointed no mention of what happened to Skeeter' s mother.

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