Wednesday, August 10, 2011
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
This was an excellent book too!
I was completely drawn into the world of Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny. Each woman fighting their own battle in their own way...winning some days and losing other days. Skeeter is the gangly, unperfect daughter of a perfect Mississippi Lady - yes with a capital L. Her dream is to be a reporter...and yes it's a dream. Through a series of rather embarrassing phone calls with the editor of a New York magazine she begins a task that changes the lives of many people around her.
Aibileen is the governess/nanny/maid/servant/Help of one of Skeeter's childhood friends. Aibileen has thanklessly focused her love and attention on 17 white children over the years - quietly reminding them that they are beautiful and wonderful and black is not awful and dirty. Aibileen's quiet and steady prayers draw people to her and give her the strength to begin telling her story to Skeeter.
Then there is Minny. The best cook in all of Jackson, Mississippi and a mouth that has gotten her fired from one too many jobs. Her fire is perfectly balanced by Aibileen's peace. Their friendship gives both courage.
Ok - this sounds a bit dull as I am describing it...but it isn't! This is a story of civil unrest and disobedience on a very grassroots level. As Aibileen and Minny tell the stories of their lives and encourage others to do the same - things change. White women who would not have had the courage to march, or even disagree with their husbands, quietly support their help.
This is a story of humanity and suffering and love and class distinctions an cruelty and forgiveness...and I loved it! I was cheering for Skeeter all the way.
But - I think my favorite part is the end...as worlds are crashing and being rebuilt - life goes on!
Another strong recommendation - I hope the movie does it justice!!!