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Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Help: Book Review

Our first book club selection, and my eighth book, of the year was The Help by Kathryn Stockett. The main theme is about a white women named Skeeter who writes a book with the help of two black women about black maids working for white families in Mississippi in the 1960s.

I won't claim that I'm particularly familiar with the culture in the Southern USA at this point in history, so I won't comment on the accuracy of the situations portrayed. However, I really enjoyed the story, especially after I read that Stockett herself lived in Mississippi during the same time period and she grew up with a black maid.

I liked how she told the story from three different perspectives (Skeeter's and two of the maids: Aibileen and Minny, who work with Skeeter on her book). The story was very intense and I found myself holding my breath or gasping from surprise throughout the book! It was funny at times and heartbreaking at times (especially one story of a woman who basically hated her 3 year-old daughter).

For some reason, though, I didn't feel like I couldn't put the book down. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I think it's because some of the characters were rather one-dimensional. Because of this, I give the book a 4/5.