Saturday, August 20, 2011

Review: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Synopsis: It is about African American maids working in white households in Jackson, Mississippi during the early 1960s. The novel is told from the point of view of three narrators: Aibileen Clark, a middle-aged African-American maid who has spent her life raising white children, and who has recently lost her only son; Minny Jackson, an African-American maid whose back-talk towards her employers results in her having to frequently change jobs, exacerbating her desperate need for work as well as her family's struggle with money; and Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan, a young white woman and recent college graduate who, after moving back home, discovers that a maid that helped raise her since childhood has abruptly disappeared and her attempts to find her have come to naught. (From the Back of the Book)

Review: In my opinion, what makes a good book is one that lingers in your heart and mind after the last page is read. The Help is a good book. Even after I finished the story, I found bits and pieces floating in my brain, lingering, teasing, there to mull over and examine and think about.
I also think a good book tells us something about ourselves or a truth about the world that we haven't seen before. The Help is a good book. It's examination of Jackson, Mississippi during the early 60s is well done. Stockett does try to shock or sensationalize race-relations - but tells the story from a personal viewpoint of those there, weaving humor, love, strength and quiet into the story of violence and injustice.
Many times, books become best sellers and I roll my eyes after reading them, knowing their best-seller status is worthless because it won't teach anyone anything. I do not feel that way about this book. I can hope that some, albeit a small few, might re-examine their hearts after reading this.

Bookmarks: 8 of 10

Awards: None

Date Finished: 8-17-2011
Pages: 464

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