Thursday, September 16, 2010

Review: The Help

 The Help is a book that I read because it was my book clubs book of the month for October. I don't think I would have ever picked it up and decided to read it if the book club was not reading it. The Help is written by Kathryn Stockett and is her first novel. I was really impressed with the book. The novel is about the early 60's when Segregation was in full force. The novel takes place in Jackson Mississippi where white folks have hired help that are the Negros. The book took me awhile to understand as the help speak a little differently than the average person. The chapters are also broken up and have different people telling the story. The story revolves around a young white woman, named Skitter, who comes home from college and tries to figure out what to do. Skitter is a little different than the average white person. She is tall and not that pretty and her mom is always trying to work on her hair, make-up or clothes. Skitter wants nothing more than to be a writer, but with no experience that is a little hard. After a publisher in New York gives her advice, Skitter gets a little job at the newspaper. She can't do her job well because it is a column about cleaning and the help have always done those things for her. She decides to get help for her column by interviewing a friend's maid. Skitter loved her maid in her house, but she left suspiciously before Skitter came home from college. Many of the maids also basically raise the family's children until the kids learn how the help is to be treated. Skitter decides to write a book in secret about how the help is treated. She works in secret to get stories from the maids.

I really enjoyed the story and learned about things that that happened during that time period that was hard for me to imagine. I also found it hard to believe that my parents grew up during that period of time.

I wondered about the cover and how it went with this story and the only thing I can figure out is that one bird is darker than the other two and it is turned from the other two lighter colored birds probably because of segregation. The other two birds are lighter colored and represent the whites but they are still not together so they have issues with the segregation too. I thought this was really interesting for a cover. I also enjoyed reading about the author's life and her experience with having a maid in her home as a child. The author seemed to have a lot in common with the Skitter character.

I loved the story and am so glad it was picked for a book of the month in my book club. I would highly recommend it. I also read online that this book is in the works of becoming a major motion picture by Dreamworks. I can’t wait!

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