The Help by Kathryn Stockett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was a quick read, which means it was a good read. I think historical fiction is becoming my new favorite genre. Besides the interesting historical bits, I found myself mostly in love with the characters over the content.
It's not that the plot wasn't great because there were many and I wanted to uncover the end to them all. It's that the characters were flawless. The whole time I was reading I kept trying to decide if I was more like Aibileen or Minny or Skeeter. Or was I like Elizabeth, LouAnne, or heaven forbid Hilly? Was I like Skeeter's mama or was I like Miss Celia? I finally had to compromise that I was like each and every one of them.
I love to encourage the babies like Aibileen. I also like to tease the kiddos by asking them where are their tails and funny things like that. I also would have a lot of "I am not on good terms with that dress" moments because I hate to iron just about more than anything.
My mouth, just like Minny's, has got me into heaps of trouble. Thank goodness I have never been hired or fired as The Help. I don't think I could have done it. I rejoiced when Minny finally got her gumption to love herself. Yeah for the Co-dependent's success. And I have to say that because I go to a support group every week where there are many ladies who get beat by their husband's and they are all trying to find their courage.
And Skeeter. Well, she loves to write. What more do I need to have in common with her? Although I do have more than just the love of writing. I like to think that I would be a risk taker just like her. I would do what was right for the greater good, even if it meant I committed social suicide. And I have a dream of living in New York someday, and really you don't need more than this commonality to love a person.
Like Elizabeth, do I worry too much with impressing my friends? Do I not appreciate my children enough? And LouAnne. Well, I don't want to give her secret away, but let's just say that I understand psychological warfare. And I think that every woman on this earth can relate to Hilly, especially if they've been through Middle School. I know I was way too worried about getting to the top of the heap and staying there for my 4 years of High School. What a disgrace to my own history.
Skeeter's mama was proud and she was blind to how her own pride screwed up her relationship with her daughter. Every critical statement was really just a reflection of Mama's own pride issues. And once again, we all have those...especially Americans. Oh and Miss Celia. How I loved her loyalty and her naivety. I like to think that my love also has no bounds and that I can be blind to invisible social taboos. It would be really great if I could look that great in an evening gown too. :)
Anyway, this book is a must read. I really enjoyed it. I am glad that it was chosen for the book club. There is a little bit of language and there is one racy part with a sex offender, but I hope the book club ladies will be able to see past these parts and know that the good is always weightier than the bad. It is quite possibly my second favorite Southern book after my all time favorite To Kill A Mockingbird.
And lastly, Thank you God for sending us Martian Luther King. And the misspell in Martian is my way of honoring the fictional hero Aibileen. My hat goes of off to our civil rights activists...especially those who lost their lives. Whenever I meet another racist in TN, I am going to leave them this book on their porch, but we all know that those racists probably don't read.
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