Friday

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Title:  The Help
Author: Kathryn Stockett
Pages:  522
Genre: Fiction
Source:  Purchased
Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.

Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and 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 and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth 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, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody's business, but she can't 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 women 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 and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.

In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women - mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends - view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don't.  [via GoodReads]
I will not sit here and write another summary of this story since I'm sure that those of you who have not read the book have seen the movie... although I do recommend you still read the book. 

As fascinated as I found the stories of Aibileen, Minny, Skeeter, Hilly, Celia, and Elizabeth to be, I still, somehow found The Help to be rather long.  Don't take me wrong, I was engrossed, fascinated, disgusted, moved and, on more than one occasion, found myself with tears in my eyes, but I still found it to be so long.  What would normally take me a day or two to read took me almost three weeks.  This doesn't necessarily mean that I wasn't (remember all of the wonderful praises I mentioned above) into it, I just think that the serious subject matter was one that I had to read in short increments at a time. 

I found The Help to be both funny and serious.  I did laugh and cry.  Ms. Stockett did a wonderful job of making me go through a slew of emotions while reading her story... and isn't that what immersing yourself in a book is all about?  All in all, although I felt it to be long, I still do not regret spending my time reading it.  It's a lovely story... one that should be told.  It's uplifting, hopeful and effective.

My Rating:

12 comments:

Lisa said...

This is an awesome audio book. I read the book and then I listened to the audio. It was really amazing and added a lot to the story.

Laura Ashlee said...

I listened to the audio, as well. I never got the sense that it was long because of that. Books tend to seem longer to me in print. I think it's because I have much more time to devote to audio than I do to sit down and read.

Kailana said...

I read this book last year and really enjoyed it. I had put it off for ages and sort of regretted that...

Jacqueline Hough said...

This is one of my favorite books. I read it before I saw the movie. I didn't think it was long. In fact, I thought it was too short. Really enjoyed!

Kristin said...

I read this book last year for my book club. The book had been out for a while before that and it just didn't jump at me - maybe because of the cover. When I did finally read it, I loved it! I have it on my shelf as one to keep and possibly reread in the future. I have heard the audio is fantastic and one of these days I plan on listening to it.

I have read a few books that need to be read in small doses, so I can understand that. One that I can remember doing that with was Lisa See's Snowflower and the Secret Fan. Have you read that one?

John Hickman said...

We all react differently to stories, so what may have seemed long to you may seem short to others. That's the power of books - to mean different things to different people!

Frenchie said...

I'm a recent transplant to Jackson, MS and have heard several opinions on this book since it's based here. Some people were offended by the picture the book paints of the area and people of the time. Me? I think it's just brutally honest. As others have mentioned, the audio is well worth the listen. I listened to it at my desk at work and found myself laughing out loud lots of times and didn't give me a sense of the book being long. Definitely worth the listen!

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

I must try this on audio.

Mel - Thedailyprophecy. said...

I haven't seen the movie and I haven't read the books.. and to be honest, I'm not planning too. There is just something about it that doesn't attract me to the story. I'm glad that you enjoyed it, even when it felt a bit too long :)

Jason said...

I read this book last year and really enjoyed it. I had put it off for ages and sort of regretted that...

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Hyacinth Marius said...

Moving story with thought-provoking content. Beautifully written in colloquial vocabulary. Scary how recent the setting was and how real the characters were portrayed.
Aya,
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