The Help by Kathryn Stockett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book is about exactly what the title says. It is about the women who were housekeepers and more in Mississippi in 1962. These were black women, who as we read in the book were often more of a mother to the white children they were raising than their own mothers were. Yet they are treated as if they are diseased, having to have their own separate toilets, and are fired or sent to jail for things that a white person would never have to worry about. Sometimes even beat up just because they try to stand up for themselves or others. But it is also a tale of how some of the white people aren't like that. One of the main characters, Skeeter, is a white woman who wants to write a story about what she sees going on. But she wants it to be told from the help's point of view. At first she has to struggle to get these women to confide in her. They know what kinds of repercussions they could face if they are caught. And Skeeter soon learns how this will affect her as she begins losing childhood friends and even the guy she thought might be the one. In the end things pretty much turn out well, as well as things could actually get to in that time period.
I loved this book! I picked it up to read because the movie is coming out. I have to say that I normally don't jump on the bandwagon of bestselling books. Quite often they don't really stand out as something I want to read. And with this one, well I have to admit I never actually picked it up to read what it was about. But when I saw an ad for the movie, I was intrigued because the story looks really good. And once I started the book, I was hooked. I couldn't put it down. Or at least I really didn't want to even though I had to. The stories were told from 3 different views, and usually I'm not a big fan of that, but it worked for this. The 3 main personalities really helped show all sides of the story. Aibileen was the calm woman who first decided to help out Skeeter, the woman writing the book. And Minnie was kind of the emotional one who had some really extreme situations to write about. Now, I heard that there was some controversy that both sides were shown unfairly. But I disagree. I feel like this book showed all different types of people on both sides. So, in conclusion, great story, and I can't wait to see the movie!
I do have to point out one thing a woman I work with said when I suggested she read this book. She said that she didn't like stories about eccentric southern women. I thought she was just being her same old humorous self, but she was serious! I'll never forget her saying that. But this isn't really that kind of book in my opinion. So I'm going to continue suggesting to her that she read it.
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