Monday, March 9, 2009

The Help

The Help The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Book 24 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge
Book 12 of 25 for the Support Your Local Library Challenge

rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Help is an intensely emotional book about three women in Jackson, Mississippi in the early 1960s. The book is told in three voices: Minny and Aibileen who are maids for young married couples, and Skeeter (Eugenia) Phelan, a single woman desperate to shake the status quo and leave Mississippi to become a journalist.  

Set in the midst of the events of the early civil rights movement, The Help examines what life might have been like to be a black maid--how they were treated, how emotionally involved they became in their work, and their dreams and desires to make a better life for their children and community.  On the flip side, the novel also looks at a white woman struggling with how blacks are treated (including the maid who raised her who seems to have mysteriously disappeared) and who supports emerging feminist ideals that set her at odds with her childhood friends. 

I think this first-time author attacked a lot of serious issues with this book, and I think she did a great job.  The story touches on racism, feminism, friendship, abuse, depression, sickness, and family relationships in a way that is both uplifting and heart-breakingly real.  The ending ties the emotional journey of the book together so beautifully, I sat and sobbed while I read it.  

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8 comments:

bermudaonion said...

I'm really looking forward to reading this book.

Diane said...

I loved this as well. Here is the link to my review:

http://bibliophilebythesea.blogspot.com/2009/03/38-help-kathryn-stockett.html

Tricia said...

Thanks Diane. I know I read your review. I'm not sure why my search engine didn't pull yours up. Grrr.

TheChicGeek said...

"Uplifting and heartbeakingly real," can you get anything better? Very nice review. I will add this to my TBR list :)

Jeanette said...

I have this on my list to read this year. I keep seeing reviews and it sounds really interesting.

Alyce said...

I thought this was a wonderful book, and I enjoyed reading your review.

J. Kaye said...

I really wanted to read this book, but I have so many books right now...maybe next year. ;)

Sandra said...

Nice review. I've reserved this one at the library. Hope the wait isn't too long but it sounds like it's worth it.