Skip to main content

The Help by Kathryn Stockett(book review)

The Help  I finally got an  chance to  read this book that has been on my To Be Read list since 2010 atleast! I will count this for my Outdo Yourself challenge.  I haven't forgotten about the challeng.  I wanted to
catch up on some of my other obligations first.

  About the contreversy:  I noticed in the back of the book ., the author made a point to mention a maid that
worked for them when she was a little whom she seems fond of, by the name Demetrie, who died when the author was sixteen and was supposed to be the reason for her writing the book.  I also noticed in the August

2011 issue of   Essence magazine, there is a sister by the name of Abelene Cooper who alleges in her lawsuit against the Stockett family (Kathryn Stockett's ;brother hired her to work for his family)  that she worked for them
in 1998, 3 months after her youngest son died from leukemia .  She read the
book and said it brought back alot of bad memories for her, they didn't have permission to use her name, and the fact that she compared her skin to the color of a cockroach demonstrates, in her opinion, that after all those years the author didn't  seem to get it.

About the book;  It's 1961 In Jackson, Mississippi.  Ms Skeeter has returned form graduating from  college but much to her mother's  not-so-subtle disappointment  no husband.  Her friends Hilly and Elizabeth had dropped out once they got married,playing the role of Southern Hostess.  Ms Skeeter is  more than  taken back by the way her friends treat their help.  Ms Skeeter approaches Aibelieen about writing a book that would show people how difficult it really is to be an African-American maid in the south.  Of course Aibileen thinks she is nuts, but because it's 1961  mind you she can't come out and say that! But  a series of events
would change not only her mind , but several other maids and a book  is written detailing just how hard it is to
be a  an African American maid back then.

My overall  impression:  I actually  enjoyed the book.  I feel a little guilty, being an African American blogger
and admitting this .Now of course the real life Ableen has every right to be offended and once I got to that section of the book(that compared her skin to that of a roach) I could see why she would be. the author had already  described her skin color several chapters back  there really wasn't  a point that I could see that would justify making that comparison.There are so many other words she could have used that wouldn't have had such a negative connotation .   The irony is
that Ableen's character is clearly the hero ,almost a saint, which is the part I wasn't crazy about, I felt that she needed to be more complex since there aren't any perfect people that I know of. I felt like the Celia character was a poor man's version of Marilyn Monroe.  I did  like Minnie's character because she did have alot more complexity, than some of the other characters.  I  think the author did a pretty good job with the plot and the story by telling it  from 3 different perspectives.  I was definitely  anxious to find out how it was going to turn out. I would give this book 4 stars


Sam said…
I must read the book before the film comes out!
Jillian said…
I really liked this book! I've been hearing good things about the film too, so I might see that as well.
Sidne,the BCR said…
good post. I'm not sure if I'm going to read the book or see the movie which is in theaters as we write.
bookaddict4real said…
I normally see the movie first because, I never like the adaptation of the book, so I may not see the movie. I am still undecided
Literary Marie said…
Don't feel guilty because you're an African American blogger and liked THE HELP. A good book is a good book. I really enjoyed it, as well as the movie.

The movie is true to the book and didn't sway. It didn't make light of the lessons learned or how it was back then. If anything, the movie brought out the emotions of all the characters.

Popular posts from this blog

The Speed of Belief by Tracy K Smith (poem)

I didn't want to wait on my knees
In a room made quiet by waiting. A room where we'd listen for the rise
Of breath, the burble in his throat. I didn't want the orchids or the trays
Of food meant to fortify that silence, Or to pray for him to stay or to go then
Finally toward that ecstatic light I didn't want to believe
What we believe in those rooms: That we are blessed, letting go,
Letting someone, anyone, Drag open the drapes and heave us Bak into our blinding, bright lives When your own sweet father died You woke before first light And ate half a plate of eggs and grits, And Drank a glass of milk. After  you'd left, I sat in your place And finished  the toast bits with jam And the cold eggs, the thick bacon Flanged in fat , savoring the taste. Then I slept, too young to know how narrow And grave the road before you seemed--- All the houses zipped tight , the night's Few clouds muddy as cold coffee. You stayed gone a week, and who were we Without your clean p…

Poem: In Texas Grass by Quincy Troupe

All along the rail
                                road tracks of texas
                               old train cars lay
                               rusted &overturned
                              like new african governments
                             long forgotten by the people
                              who built & rode them
                                till they couldn't run no more,
                              they remind me of old race horses
                             who've been put out to pasture
                            amongst the weeds
                            rain sleet &snow
                            till they die,rot away
                            like photos fading
                           in grandma's picture book,
                         of old black men in mississippi/texas
                         who sit on dilapidated porches,
                        that fall away
                       like dead man'…

The Life I led by Nikki Giovanni (poem)

i know my upper arms will grow
flabby it's true
of all the women in my family
i know that the purple views
like dead fish in Seine
will dot my legs one day
and my hands will wither while
my hair turns grayish white I know that
one day my teeth will move when
my lips smile
and a flutter of hair will appear
below my nose I hope
my skin doesn't change to those blotchy

i want my menses to be undifficult
i'd  very much prefer staying firm and slim
to grow old like a vintage wine fermenting
in old wooden vats with style
i'd like to be exquisite  I think

i will look forward to grandchildren
and my flowers  all my knickknacks in their places
and that quiet of the bombs not falling on Cambodia
settling  over my sagging breasts

i hope my shoulder finds a head that needs nestling
and my feet find a footstool after a good soaking
with Epsom salts

i hope I die
by the life I tried
to live