Wednesday, May 5, 2010
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
I wasn’t sure what this book was about when I decided to buy it. I knew it was set in the Southern U.S. during the 1960s and there was something about a lot of women afraid to follow after whatever it was they wanted. And that there would be racial issues thrown in there. This is a terrible summary. However, not knowing what I was in for left me deliciously and delightfully surprised. I didn’t expect to become engrossed by a maid’s daily life. I didn’t expect to laugh out loud on several occasions. I didn’t expect to learn and this novel enlightened me about how complicated the civil rights movement was for many different (but not so different) people.
This book was a pleasure to read. As a rule, I don’t mind dialect but I find it slows my pace down. Truly though, I savored every page. The story alternates between three women’s point of view: one young white woman, one middle-aged black maid and one not-quite-old black maid. I adored all the voices but Aibileen’s (the eldest’s) was my favorite. There is so much tension, anxiety and fear in these women’s lives because of their desire to tell the truth. I felt nervous for them and kept hoping they’d find a way to iron out the wrinkles (hehe. Aibileen hates ironing pleats). I feel this book is a must read for those living in the U.S., perhaps especially my 20-something generation who have grown up in a different era and have little understanding of what daily life was like in the South during the 1960s.
Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books, 2009 Pages: 451
Rating: 5 Stars Source: Purchased on Amazon