Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Help

Book:  The Help
Author:  Kathryn Stockett
Pages: 451

Twenty Two yr old Skeeter has just returned home from graduating from Ole Miss.  She may have a degree, but its 1962, Mississippi, & her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger.  Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared & no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeeth white child.  Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way.  She is devoted to the little girl she looks after (Mae Mobley), though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat & perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi.  She can cook like nobody's business, but she cant mind her tongue so she's lost yet another job.  Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation.  But her new boss has secrets of her own.

Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these woman will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk.  And why?  Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town & their times.  And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.
I've heard so much about this book & have seen it every where on everyone's reading list - so I had to see what it was about... & I am so thankful I did.  The story of these women & the other maids & the women they work for just takes you back into a time that wasnt that far behind us, but seems like it could be forever.  It blows my mind to think that in the time my husband was alive, in Mississippi, people still treated their "maids" or the HELP the way they did. The way racial differences were so harsh & cruel.

The chapters are told from the different perspective of these three women who come together.  Afraid to trust each other at first, but having friendships develope between them is just so endearing.  I couldnt wait to get to each word in this book, to see what would happen in the chance these women were taking. 

Skeeter, being an "outsider" because she wasnt married or had children & didnt quite fit in with the "society ladies" - people who used to be her friends growing up.  Aibileen, who did everything to make sure the children she watched had a little bit more sense of black people & they were really no different.  I love the stories she would tell Mae Mobley - especially about the green alien, Martian Luther King!!!! ... & I just love Minny - I can relate to a lady who has a big mouth.  The woman she works for, Celia, just entranced me too - because she too was a loner... someone who I envisioned as Marilyn Monroe - someone the other women didnt like because they knew their husband DID like her...

I didnt want this book to end.  I felt like I knew each one of these ladies... & I loved them... I can tell a good book by my reactions on reading a story.  Yep, I actually gasped at parts, actually laughed out loud at parts, & actually teared up in areas... & my heart ached for these women... that is why this book is up in a top ranking of my favorite wont regret traveling back in time to Mississippi in the 60's & meeting these women...

My rating:  5 skeins


Bekki said...

I felt the same way- I wanted this book to go on forever and I wanted to know so much more- FABULOUS Book

Shelley said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, even the "special pie" part.

Have you read the secret life of bees by sue monk kidd> It is an excellent read as well.

2cats said...

My aunt has a copy of this book for me, but if I don't get to see her soon I may have to check it out from the library.
I love the new design of the blog.