Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Happy May! Come on Spring!

My friend Tina nudged me several times to read this book and I happened to find it in the library's 7-day loan right before we were leaving for Indianapolis! Road-trip and a highly-recommended book-I was set! I read it there, I read it back and many times in between during our trip.
Thank heavens for husbands who are willing to drive the whole way! Tina was right-this book is so good! I rarely pick up adult books because kid lit satisfies my need for really good fiction but I am so glad I did not pass this one by.
This story, set in Jackson, MS in 1962 is about three brave women, and all women at the same time. Aibileen, Minny and Miss Skeeter trade sections of the book back and forth so we hear their stories of tension, trouble and joy between black and white during this extremely turbulent time in our history. Ms Stockett weaves the brutal news stories of the time (James Meridith, Medgar Evers) into her story so eloquently I had a difficult time remembering that Minny and Aibileen were not real.
The story is so interwoven and complicated in a good way that I'm not going to begin to retell it. I'm just not that kinda reviewer but I will say the power of the women's stories was so uplifting and heart-wrenching at the same time. Many of the characters made me grit my teeth with anger at their outlook on their world (Miss Hilly, Miss Elizabeth) and cheer for others (Miss Skeeter and all of the maids). The truth of the story is it is hard to
follow your own path, lose your friends for a higher good, against the rest of the world and they did it in the midst of real tragedies. I want all my friends to read this!!

The Help
Kathryn Stockett
Amy Einhorn Books/
Hardcover, 464 pages
ISBN 978-0399155345

1 comment:

NatalieSap said...

A friend just told me about this book over the weekend, and after seeing your most recent blog post about your book club reading it, I thought I'd check it out. Yeah, I'm #99 on my library's hold list. Looks like a popular one! :)