Title: The Help
Author: Kathryn Stockett
My edition: Putnam Hardcover 2009
Purchased From: Book Depository
Synopsis (from Strand): Set deep in the heart of Mississippi, circa 1962, “The Help” offers readers an enchanting and original journey into the trying lives and times of three very different women who chose to come together for a common cause. In this book weare introduced to 22 year-old Skeeter, who has recently graduated school and is being pushed into marriage; Aibileen, a wise and regal maid whose troubles as an African American in Mississippi are enough on their own; and Aibileen’s best friend Minny, whose just been put out of another job and is in need of help. Through author Kathryn Stockett’s touching and remarkable characters this moving narrative will take readers by the hand and lead them to new places.
I read this because: The rare combination of a well-reviewed novel and long run on the bestseller lists is always intriguing.
My thoughts: It’s been a while since I’ve read a fantastic, page-turner of a historical novel, and I’m happy that the drought is over. I can see why this book has done so well; it’s immensely enjoyable. It’s a great story, good writing, lovable narrators and main characters, and a bit of sass. It’s also not without its villains, which is important for any good story. I expected the ending to be sadder than it was, but that’s not a criticism. Also, I think it’s been a while since I read a novel set in the south, which was lovely. I enjoyed this book a lot and had trouble putting it down for things like work and showering.
Book club worthy? Yes, I think it would be great for discussion.
Follow up required: This is Kathryn Stockett’s first novel, but I will definitely keep an eye out for her second.
You might like this book if you like: The Thirteenth Tale, and historical fiction in general.
My favorite lines & passages: Even though she has zero kids and nothing to do all day, she is the laziest woman I’ve ever seen. Including my sister Doreena who never lifted a royal finger growing up because she had the heart defect that we later found out was a fly on the X-ray machine. (page 48)
“Every morning, until you dead in the ground, you gone have to make this decision.” Constantine was so close, I could see the blackness of her gums. “You gone have to ask yourself, Am I gone believe what them fools say about me today?” (page 63)