Sunday, May 15

Book Review: The Help

Title: The Help

Author: Kathryn Stockett

Pages: 444

Summary: Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.

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.

Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen’s best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody’s business, but she can’t mind her tongue, so she’s lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.

Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these 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 Rating: 10/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: This was an extraordinary book, which was next to impossible to put down, wonderfully written, with a powerful message, it is well worth the hype it’s received, and well worth reading. I was pulled into the book from the start, from the author’s writing style, to the intriguing characters, its hard o figure out where to begin.

Usually, I’m not a fan of southern fiction, especially the dialect/accents used in the writing, but in this book, it worked well, and I didn’t mind it at all. I was able to get used to it fast, and immerse myself into the characters and their stories. And it’s safe to say the three characters (along with some of the minor ones) make the story. They were handled with such care, were complex and easy to fall in love with. Minny was a rather interesting character, who will make you laugh, and shock you - the revelation about the pie was shocking, and funny. And I really enjoyed her relationship with Ceila - who’s a character, I’d have liked to learn more about, and whished her story was more wrapped up in the end. But all of the characters were well done, from the ones you’ll fall in love with and think about when you finished the book, to the ones you love to hate, and wait until they get what’s coming to them.

The book is written with emotion, as the reader watches the struggle faced by the maids, trying to gain the rights and respect they deserve. The author does her best, to recreate the time period of Mississippi and bring it to the reader’s min. I felt the book to be a very moving read, as Skeeter worked with Aibleen and the other black maids, to tell their story, and get the message out. The book also had some humour in it, shocked you and made you smile. I wasn’t a big fan of the relationship between Skeeter and her man but, it helped create her character. The only issue is, I wish some of the stories were more wrapped up in the end. Everything was tied up, but I’d have loved a just a few more paragraphs on some of the characters. But, otherwise it was a wonderful book.

Would I recommend it to read: Yes! This was a beautifully written book! I was imposable to put down, filled with emotion, and characters that will stick with you long after the book is finished - well deserving of all the hype it's received, it won't disappoint.

What to read next: The Secret Life of Bees, The Color Purple,

Challenges: 11 in 11, 100+ Challenge, 2011 Countdown Challenge, Book Bucket Reading List, Historical Fiction Challenge, New Author Challenge

5 comments:

  1. I am like the only person on the planet who hasn't yet read this book, but I do have a copy on my shelf for when I can make time! Reading your review makes me want to push this one to the top of the pile. Thanks for sharing your very insightful and enticing thoughts on it!

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  3. This was a fabulous read wasn't it, and I can't wait for the movie to come out. From the trailer it appears that it is staying pretty close to the book!

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  4. Ziblee - Well, until recently I was the other person on the planet who hadn't read the book. I was very pleased when I read this book, it was worth moving it up on the TBR list.

    Marg - I was a little unsure about the movie, but I watched the trailer and it doesn't look half bad. The book was just fabulous, I'd be interested to see what the author does next.

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  5. I really liked this book too, same reasons you give :)

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