328: The Help

I started reading this book after someone asked me to borrow it after I finish reading it. I felt that her request would give me intuitive to plan and actually finish a book.

Synopsis: “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. ”

The Good

Very good adaptation to the movie. I read it in 4 days which really good for me at this time. That is it. I do not have a lot of good things to say about The Help because overall it was meh to me.

The Meh

I realized after reaching 58% or probably earlier just thought I would get into it later, it was okay. I did not feel that it was this amazing book that I want to hug and twirl around the room thinking on its awesomeness. It was one of those books that before finishing I already decided to give it away to that person who wanted to borrow it. Maybe it was because I watched the movie before reading the book. The movie was a very good adaptation so there was nothing left for me to get from the book. Ultimately,  I just did not connect with the characters or book the way I needed to.

At the end of the novel I felt  absolutely nothing.

The Bad

I just feel that I have read better more emotionally moving reads. This book is not that insightful. I believe the problem is that I  have read other African American novels and am familiar with the Civil Right Movement. This entire story has been told tried in true adding anything new or fresh to the table. The movie was better in eliciting a response from me. But I have to remember that there were very good actors to breathe life into the story. I just came to the end of this book shrugging,ehh. There were a couple of feelings I did have while reading the book. Some of the characters (Minnie specifically) made me mad. I get that she is a sassy mouth character but she thought and did things that got on my nerves. She treats and says things to Celia that makes me want to really get at her.

Other Comments: My copy of the book had a qoute by Marian Keyes praising the book and talking about how courageous it is that Kathryn Stockett wrote the book. I first of all can say that it is commendable for a author to write characters who are of a different race. Especially, at a time that writers are making excuses for why they cannot write about characters who are not Caucasion. Nonetheless, I have a problem that people think this book is courageous. We ( at least I have) seen this story time and time again. If a author who was African American or any other race wrote this would they get attention? It is not enough anymore to just address African American issues in a general way. It was not enough back then but people dealt with it because at least there are black characters in the book. It is not enough when you have so many African American novels that deal with this very subject.

People like to use the excuse of this novel not being nonfiction as a reason for it to not be historically accurate. My response is that first of all if this book was any other historical fiction book, set in any other time with majority of white characters, it would  be judged so harshly for its inaccuracies. Basically if this book was about the Tudors it would get criticism for being historically inaccurate. But since it is about African Americans in the South during the 1960s it can not be touched or criticized because at least the author is writing a book about African Americans. It is a faulty excuse because as much as the civil rights movement is talked about (because African Americans do not at all exist historically beyond slavery and the Civil Rights movement) it should be done historical accurate.

*That empty space that causes me to rant about African Americans and historical fiction is  still not filled.

Books that Did it Better

~The Color Purple by Alice Walker

~Roots by Alex Haley (with all its issues)

~A Raisin In the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

~(Basically almost every other African American novel written)


Author: themollyweather

I like to read, a lot.

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