Book Review #15: The Help
Author: Kathryn Stockett
Days to Read: 8
Synopsis (as taken from Chapter’s): Aibileen is a black maid in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, who’s always taken orders quietly, but lately she’s unable to hold her bitterness back. Her friend Minny has never held her tongue but now must somehow keep secrets about her employer that leave her speechless. White socialite Skeeter just graduated college. She’s full of ambition, but without a husband, she’s considered a failure. Together, these seemingly different women join together to write a tell-all book about work as a black maid in the South, that could forever alter their destinies and the life of a small town…
My Thoughts: After watching The Help when it came out in theatres, I knew this was one book that I just had to read as soon as possible. And while many months went by before I picked it up from Chapters, I did read it in the end. The movie had me crying, laughing and reflecting, so I knew that the book would only intensify those feelings and reactions. And boy, was I underestimating its power. It took me all of 8 days to read it (granted, I had been working during those days; if I had my way, I’d have read it all in a day or two) and even so, 8 days truly wasn’t long enough for me to indulge myself further into the novel.
Kathryn Stockett is absolutely amazing in my opinion. She has this undeniable gift of creating characters, creating settings, that are parallel to our own lives and experiences, and yet are set apart from us too. The black maids undergo such trials that it’s hard to believe life was actually like this in the 60s. Stockett spoke with such rawness, such honesty, that it was impossible to tear myself away from her words.
From the get-go, I was rooting for every single black maid in Mississippi and Miss Skeeter — and hated Hilly Hollbrook with a passion. I wanted to slap Elizabeth Leefolt for her naivety and stupidity. And I wanted to embrace Celia Foote in the tightest hug, patting her on the back. Each character was so strong in his or her own way, whether they were right or not. The dialogue was flawless and the plot was seamless. There is a reason why this is a national bestseller — The Help can touch even the most skeptical person out there.
My Rating: 9/10
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