The Nadel family- Enjoy reading our everyday adventures!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Book Review- The Help

I love to read when I can, and it is not often enough. My mom loves to give me books, and I read them when I can. With four kids and a busy house, homeschooling, being involved in MOPS and church, teaching co-op classes, etc., I just don't get a lot of time to read. So when I do, I savor it a little bit... I read more in the summer and on our school breaks. It also helps that I can read in the car, I get a bunch of reading done then, just not when we're on really curvy roads! :-D

One such book that I read recently over our Christmas/ New Year's break, called The Help by Kathryn Stockett. My mom loaned me this book, and I really enjoyed it.

The Help takes place in the early 1960's in the heart of the South, Mississippi. It is mostly about a girl and her family, and their maid. The main character, Skeeter, decides she wants to learn more about the "colored" maids, and writes a book with them to tell their story. I loved hearing the maids' side of things, how they loved the white babies as their own, and how they taught them things that they thought were important.

Here is a part of what the jacket cover says about the book...

"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 until Skeeter gets 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.

These three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women- mothers, daughter, caregivers, friends- view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope..."

This book has great writing, a funny climax that kept me on the edge of my seat, and parts that made me laugh out loud, and a few parts that had me crying. The characters were described in a vivid, memorable fashion, and you can almost see them, and hear them speak in their southern tones. It gives a fresh view into a part of history that has been somewhat forgotten-- when women were not so equal and when blacks were discriminated upon. I really enjoyed this book, and was really glad that I took the time to read it. I heartily recommend you find a copy and read it too!

Let me know if you've read it, I'd love to hear your comments!

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