Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Book Review: The Help

Book Details:
Title: The Help
Author: Kathryn Stockett
2009, Penguin Group
ISBN: 978-0-425-23220-0

Book Summary:
Aibileen is a black maid in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, raising her seventeenth white child. She's always taken orders quietly, but lately it leaves her with a bitterness she can no longer bite back. Her friend Minny has certainly never held her tongue, or held on to a job for very long, but now she's working for a newcomer with secrets that leave her speechless. And white socialite Skeeter has just returned from college with ambition and a degree but, to her mother's lament, no husband. Normally Skeeter would find solace in Constantine, the beloved maid who raised her, but Constantine has inexplicably disappeared.

Together, these seemingly different women join to work on a project that could forever alter their destinies and the life of a small town - to write, in secret, a tell-all book about what it's really like to work as a black maid in the white homes of the South. Despite the terrible risks they will have to take, and the sometimes humorous boundaries they will have to cross, these three women unite with on intention: hope for a better day.

My Review:
Well, by now everyone has read this book and reviewed it, so I'm going to keep this short. If you haven't read it, you should - it's good.

I wasn't really sure what to expect with this book, I really had no idea what it was about, other than about black maids working for white people in the South. Nothing in it was really a surprise - I mean - I think we all know, have a good idea, have heard, what kinds of things went on during the civil rights movement in the 60s. Seriously, I majored in American culture in college and took my fair share of African American studies.

But for some reason it just hits you really personally in this book when you read it. Even though I've read it all before - I still just almost couldn't believe that these things went on - that they were allowed - and that apparently no one saw anything wrong with that. Another thing I couldn't believe is how cruel and un-loving some of these white women were to their children and each other.

The end of this story just about broke my heart and I loved the personal section at the end of the story entitled, Too Little Too Late, by the author about her own family's maid growing up. I think that actually added a lot to the story.

Hmm... well, I wasn't even going to write that much about it! Ha! I really want to see the movie now!

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