'The Help': A book I just couldn't put down
"The Help" was that book for me this weekend.
Many of you probably know that the movie "The Help" is based on the book of the same name by Kathryn Stockett. I haven't seen the movie, and I'm guessing I will at some point, though I'm worried it will be too much of a bastardization of the story.
"The Help" is about an educated white woman who longs to be a writer - though in 1960s Jackson, Miss., her mother just wants her to be a wife. She gets the idea to tell the stories of what it's like to be the help - the black women who cook and clean and raise the children of the rich white families. But the racial tensions force Skeeter and the maids to meet secretly and cause them all sorts of problems with their families and friends.
I loved so many things about this book. Stockett chose to tell the story from three different perspectives - Skeeter, the writer, and Aibileen and Minny, two maids - which gives the novel a lot of depth. Stockett didn't just write about the women's connections to each other and how they wrote a book, but their relationships with their families, their friends, their lovers and their employers. And she somehow wrote this in a way that there weren't too many characters to keep track of. All of the characters were so vivid that I could picture each of them immediately upon reading their names. Stockett also created clear voices for each of the women, writing in different Southern dialects for each of them. I could hear Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny talking to me as I turned flipped through the pages.
I can't recommend this book enough. Get on your library's website and add yourself to the hold list (which undoubtedly exists).
-- Cheryl Sadler | CSadler@News-Herald.com | @nhcheryl
Labels: book review