Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Help

Title: The Help
Author: Kathryn Stockett
Goodreads Rating: 4.45/5
My Rating: 5/5
Pages: 451

Reviewed by: Amy

Goodreads Synopsis:

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.

Absolutely LOVED this book! Everything from characters to writing style to plot made it very hard to put the book down.

My mother read the book before I did and she had the same feelings as I did. She said that it was interesting to read because all this was going on when she was alive. The story showed the history and relationships between black and whites of the time and also showed how the relationships can be filled with hate and mistrust but also compassion and dependence. Based on this and opinions from my mother, we both agree that this book was a great rendition of feelings at the time.

Now to get into a touchy area... I have heard that many people thought the book was racist, mostly because of the author's writing style with two African American characters, Minny and Aibeleen. Many people said this was "inappropriate" and racist... I would have to disagree. I thought that changing the writing style between Minny, Aibeleen and Miss Skeeter gave the book an authentic feel and helped the book have that "this really happened" feeling that my mother and I loved so much. It helped it feel like the characters were sitting right there with you, reading you the book.

I loved reading this book and watching the characters grow and develop and become closer, especially with Miss Skeeter. The drama in it was amazing and I think is true to how woman get revenge (we don't just punch someone out, we plot and scheme and ruin lives lol). You love some characters and hate some others. I can honestly say it was the first book that made me feel something in a long time. I can't wait to watch the movie now :)

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