Thursday, September 08, 2011

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

I didn't read this book as part of my book club, but it was on my "to read" list and I had to wait for the book that I was supposed to read, so I snagged this one while I could.  Of course I still had a three and a half week wait for this book!  I honestly had no idea what it was about until I caught one of the movie previews on the television and then I was hooked.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to seeing the movie even though I know they are never the same (I tend to prefer book over movie).

The author wrote about "The Help" in the deep South town of Jackson, Mississippi in the heat of a time and place where racism was rampant and black people were seen as inferior. Reading this book brought me back to the eighth grade when I did a Social Studies project on slavery in America and I wrote a paper on the day in the life of a slave from a slave's perspective. I won third prize in our social studies fair for my project and learned a lot about the history in our country from the project. Some of the things truly ashamed me and I felt the same way when reading this book. While this book is fiction, I know it's based on true experiences. The fact that white women didn't let their black house cleaners use the same restrooms as they did, yet they let them raise their children appals me and embarasses me.  I really felt for little Mae Mobley who was more attached to "the Help" than her own mother and for Minny and Aibileen for having to bite their tongues so much when faced with unfair and humiliating situations.  I love what Skeeter did for these women and felt sad for her when she learned about her beloved Help, Constantine.

The book was well written, easy to read, and hard to put down after the second chapter.  I will most definitely read more from this author at some point.


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