Title: The Help
Author: Kathryn Stockett
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.
I’ve read and finished The Help a week ago but I had a hard time organizing my thoughts into this review thus the delay. This is not a hard book to read, and not a bad book as well. It’s just that the theme is intense, I am finding it hard to come up with a review that can do this book justice.
Okay, so The Help is a story about racism and how hard it was for people to cope and make it through during the 60’s in Mississippi. I am not African American nor do I live in a place where I can witness the issue but I am Asian and I can tell you right now that Asians and other minorities also experience the same thing and we also carry the same issues that is why I felt so attached and emotional reading this book.
The story was provided in three different POV – Skeeter, Minnie and Aibileen – three different person, three different personality, three different upbringing held together to fight the close mindedness and harshness of the society they were living in. Because of this format, it gave me different perspective from each person. This gave me a different feel and “view” and that also made it easier for me to read and understand the story. The story made me feel an array of emotions creating a very colorful reading experience and that deserves praises for me.
I just like to point out a few points. First, I don’t understand the bird in the cover. I don’t know why but I can’t think of any reason to connect those birds to the story – well maybe there was a point to it but I missed it. Second, the boyfriend character for me was not necessary in the story. It was like he wasn’t there – he didn’t play anything significant or contributed anything to the story.
With those points said, read the book. It’s not just another racism book, it’s a great story worth your attention.
** NOTE: For those who have seen the movie and read the book (or the other way around), which was better? The book or the movie?